Sanctuary Gardens, Church Road, Sneyd Park

gazebo in sneyd park bristol

The listed gazebo and walls next to the remains of a subterranean water tank

An archaeological excavation and watching brief are being carried out prior to and during construction groundworks associated with the development of 11 detached dwellings at Sanctuary Gardens, off Church Road in Sneyd Park, Bristol.

The present Lias rubble, red brick and limestone walls and gazebo near Church Road are a Grade II listed building in the Byzantine style thought to date from c.1880. These extant structures, which are due to be restored, originally lay within a formal garden belonging to Sneyd Park House on Goodeve Road. The house, the architect of which was Henry Dare Bryan, was built in 1880 for Mr James Derham of Derham Brothers boot & shoe manufactory, which had a factory in Barton Street, St James, Bristol. The property was bought in the early 20th century by Mr Heber Mardon, the owner of Mardon’s, the printing firm. On the death of his grandson, George Ernest Mardon, in February 1942 the property was sold. After the war in 1947 the house was converted into flats, while the northern part of the gardens had several prefabricated houses built on them. These pre-fabs have only recently been demolished.

Site monitoring commenced in late May 2011. This initially involved an archaeological watching brief during the demolition of a late 19th-century stone retaining wall known to be associated with a large Victorian greenhouse or palmhouse that formerly stood south of the former kitchen garden. This fieldwork was followed by the excavation of a single 30m long by 3m wide trench on the site of the greenhouse, during which a contemporary subterranean brick and stone built water cistern and other structural remains were recorded.

Currently a watching brief is continuing during the on-going construction groundwork.

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