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Why The Fortunes Of Kings Weston House Changed Between 1700 And The Present Day

2015 words - 8 pages

Why The Fortunes Of Kings Weston House Changed Between 1700 And The Present Day

Kings Weston House was built on the side of a ridge probably with
idyllic pastoral views (as was the fashion in the 1700's). Kings
Weston House was probably built on this site because of those views,
it was surrounded by countryside with a few grazing cattle's of sheep
and most likely farmland visible, but the main view from the house was
the River Severn and the rolling green hills of Wales visible on the
other side. These views made it the perfect country house for a
wealthy family. Today the view from the house is very different, you
can see the built up council estates of Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston.
Where in the 1700s you used to be able to look towards the River
Severn and see countryside, today you see Avonmouth docks and the
village of Avonmouth which has grown around the docks which is part of
Bristol.

On the site of the current house there used to be a Tudor mansion and
the name Kings Weston came from the fact that it was a crown property.
It was owned by Henry the Second who gave it to Robert Fitlzharding,
the ancestor of the Berkeley family. He sold it in Queen Elizabeth's
reign to Sir Edward Wintour, who then sold it to Alderman Humphrey
Hooke of Bristol, a wealthy trade's man. Then Sir Robert Southwell
bought Kings Weston from hookes son in 1679. Sir Robert Southwell was
the sectary of state for Ireland. On his death his son Edward
Southwell followed in his footsteps and became sectary of state of
Ireland and later on became a member of Rye in 1707. As Sir Edward
Southwell had inherited the estate of Kings Weston it was probably not
to his taste, it was too old and out of fashion, so in 1710 he
instructed John Vanbrugh to design a new house on the site of the old
Tudor mansion. He wanted to build it on the same site as the Tudor
mansion because it was in the ideal place for everything he needed. It
was near the village of Shirehampton where he could hire people as
servants to help run the house, and as they came from the village he
did not have to pay to house them. It was only five miles from the
city of Bristol so he could easily get there to sort out business, or
for him and his family to enjoy what the city had to offer them. It
was also very close to Sea Mills, where he wanted to build up the
roman harbour because Bristol docks were beginning to lose trade to
Docks in Liverpool. This is because Liverpool dock was a lot easier
for ships to get to, unlike Bristol where they had to travel up the
bendy and very tidal River Avon. So by building a floating harbour in
Sea Mills ships would not have to travel all the way up the Avon. But
Sea Mills harbour soon failed because it did not have sufficient links
with Bristol. Also if you wanted to be elected in Parliament you had
to have a...

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