Welcome to KWAG's November Newsletter
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Working Parties begin again in earnest ths month. Come and lend a hand!

Above:  Kings Weston house continues their work in reopening the garden front.

If you value our work please consider donating to help support our projects. Follow THIS LINK to donate safely and securely towards KWAG's work

This month:

  • Big Bulb Plant report 
  • KWAG is five!
  • Kings Weston takes centre stage at Heritage Forum conference
  • British Library partnership makes Kigs Weston illustrations public
  • New light on the First World War hospital

Don't Forget we're re-starting full working party this month! - Working Party Reminder

Reminder:  November's working party will take place next week, on Sat 12th. Meet as last month at Shirehampton Road public car park at 10am. We return to that task of clearing laurel bushes from Penpole Wood. We will be working HERE.

Our ongoing work will continue work started last year to clear the invasive evergreens that are choking the native woodland, but there will be tasks to suit most abilities. Please come along with suitable clothing for the weather on the day, bring hand-tools if you have some suitable,  and we hope to see you there. Please keep an eye on our Facebook Page in case of any change of location, or call 07811 666671 on the day to find us.

Above: This Autumn has been spectacular for leaf colour, and Kings Weston wasn't left out

Big Bulb Plant report 

Last month was our fourth annual Big Bulb plant. This year we focussed on two areas: the area in Penpole Wood we cleared of laurels last year, and the wildflower meadow beside the Shirehampton Road car park. over 8000 bulbs were planted and we're hugely grateful for the help from regular volunteers, and many new faces. It is always great to see kids getting involved with work on the estate and this year there were a number of families who enjoyed making their mark on the estate by joining in with digging holes and planting. 

Unfortunately there weren't the usual batch of photos taken of the event, nor is bulb planing the most visually impressive task, but we're grateful to Ruth Morris for having taken a few on her phone. This year we planted 3000 bluebell bulbs around the large beech tree we revealed in the wood last year which will complement existing bulbs nearby. 3000 dwarf native daffodils were planted on the bank opposite the estate map board, and 2000 Snakes-head fritillary were planed in the grassland close to the picnic benches. As luck would haveit we had some great dry weather which promptly turned to rain just as we finished; A good watering-in for the freshly planted bubs. We now have to sit the winter out and hope that we'll see the rewards for our work in the Spring. 

Above right: Bulbs are shared out at the start of the event. Below, A young family helps regular volunteer Celia Ellis plant bluebells. 

KWAG is five! 

It's sometimes difficult to recall quite how much KWAG has put in on the estate and what a difference we've made, so our fifth birthday has been a great opportunity to reappraise everything we've achieved. To celebrate our anniversary, to reflect on our achievements, and talk of the future, we held a buffet at The Lamplighter's pub on the 29th October. We had  buffet laid on in an area upstairs and we were delighted to see many friends, old and new, who came along to help celebrate.

Above: Birthday celebrations at The Lamplighters pub. Below: KWAG's commemorative anniversary tree; another new addition to the landscaped parkland.

We're grateful to Jim Ellis for having organised the event and invited some of our most regular volunteers along by special invite. The evening started at 5:30 and carried on until well after 10pm! There was a good deal of beer drunk to toast our success and a chocolate birthday cake was shared out later in the evening.

The event also saw the showcasing of a new tree which has been planted on the estate to commemorate our landmark anniversary. The tree, an unusual Brazilian Monkey Puzzle (
Araucaria angustifolia), will complement  the existing exotic pines planed around the estate in the Victorian period. A location close to the Echo, close to a Japanese cedar and Austrian Black Pine, has been selected, away from the native woodland closer to Penpole. We hope that it will thrive there for many years to come. 

Kings Weston takes centre stage at Heritage Forum conference

Bristol has just set up a new Heritage Forum which will focus on all aspects of the city's rich history and seek to protect and conserve it for future generations. It's inaugural conference took place on the 27th of October themed around the city's unique collection of historic landscapes, and Kings Weston was heavily featured. KWAG were invited to take part in the day by running workshops and host a tour of our achievements in the afternoon.

KWAG has become well regarded within the city, and we were presented as something of an exemplar of  how community involvement can make a difference, and a potential model for how other groups could take a greater role in managing historic estates. One of the key issues of the conference, held at St James's Priory church, was how, with diminishing resources, our historic greenspaces can survive and thrive. Arnos Vale Cemetery's presentation focussed on the challenges of a Trust organisation  to maintain an historic landscape, and Pete Insole of Bristol City Council discussed the role of grant applications as a source of funding. There was a good deal of discussion about the potential for the foundation of a Trust to take on Kings Weston, or the city's heritage estates as a whole. 

Above right: KWAG's chairman, David Martyn, presents a summary of our work on the estate in St James's church. Below: The afternoon tour of the estate arrives at the Echo.

After lunch  KWAG showcased the estate and our work over the last five years. A quick circuit of the main walk revealed the progress we've made across many areas, and the impact of community conservation work. Our map board and leaflets were admired, as was the avenue we replanted in 2013 at the front of the house. 

The conference continued into the evening with keynote speakers. Jonathan Foyle, who had accompanied KWAG for much of the day, was the highlight of this part of the day. The conference resolved to try and tackle the future of historic estates with the council, and work to find a new model of conserving and enhancing this important set of assets. 

British Library partnership makes Kings Weston illustrations public.

In partnership with the British Library Bristol City Council's Know Your Place website now hosts a fantastic collection of Georgian drawings and paintings of the estate, by the artist Samuel Hieronymus Grimm. Grimm recorded a wealth of fascinating locations across the city in the last two decades of the Eighteenth Century and Kings Weston was not overlooked. 

Although you may have seem some of these images before, we have published a few in our newsletters previously, the new layer on Know Your Place (KYP) makes these available in a much higher quality than ever before. To begin your exploration of these images, and many other layers of information, start your journey into the past with this entry  

Below: Detail of a drawing by Grimm showing Penpole Lodge with Wood Lodge in the far distance.  

New light on WWI Kings Weston auxiliary hospital. 

We're very grateful for the following short report compiled by Ann Cunningham. Ann contacted us a short time ago and has helped add a new insight into the WWI years: 

In 1914 Kings Weston House became an auxiliary hospital for wounded soldiers in WW1. From 1914 to 1919 there were many nurses and workers who came here to help and support the injured. After doing some research, I have found the following nurses that worked at the house. There are 7 in total.

Miss Hilda Prance

From May 2nd 1915 until June 1918, Hilda was here for approx 18 months.

Miss Mabel C N Moore

From May 2nd 1915 until June 1919

Miss Frances Geraldine Moore

From May 2 1915 to January 1917

Miss Ethel M. J Moore

From May 3rd 1915 to January 1917

Miss Alice Maud Muriel Borase

From Nov 1st to 18th 1916

Miss Joan Badock

Worked for one year in 1916

Miss Ethel Maud Adams

March 1918 to March 1919. Ethel was a Ward sister and also a night duty nurse.

Ethel was born in 1879 in Long Stock, Hampshire, England. Her parents were James and Susan Adams. She has the following brothers and sisters. Sarah, Annie Elizabeth,John George, and Herbert Evans.

Below: Soldiers and nurses pose on the garden steps of Kings Weston House.

Ethel has been documented as being a Pioneer Nurse. In 1887 the first register for professional nurses was founded. It was the first in the world. It was called  the Royal British Nurses’ Association (RBNA). Its aim was to provide a snapshot of the nurses training and qualifications.

Ethel has been documented as registering in 1915, at this time it was voluntary, but by 1919 it was compulsory and finally in this year the Nurses Registration Act became law.

Further information can be found about Ethel and other pioneer nurses at

Anyone that is interested in learning more about the Red Cross, what they did, or simply wanting to search for other nurses can visit: has also been sourced from

KWAG's first World War exhibition boards can be viewed here

Below: A view from an angle last enjoyed a generation ago; The garden front of Kings Weston over the recently relaid lawn after the ruins of QEH were recently removed..

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