M: Ham Green

M

This site was previously largely the footprint of Ham green hospital including the orchard and the area of Watchhouse hill occupied by the isolation hospital.

The site was redeveloped by Redrow progressively in the period 1999- 2001 this consisted of a residential area of 3-5 bed houses in traditional 1930’s style, the only buildings retained is the original Nurses home which is divided into apartments and the Lodge (now an office) .

eden park  Eden Park 2

In addition to this there is the Business Park which is almost exclusively offices.

The area benefits from ample open space which include Lodway cricket pitch, the parish playing field, the green and Watchhouse hill.

The area has good access to, the village, Portishead or Bristol via the route 41 cycle path. The area is also well served by buses to either Portishead or Bristol. The area has easy access to local footpaths especially the towpath on the River Avon and access to the net work of footpaths in Lower Failand

ham Green  Fitzharding road

One of the many aspects of the development which contributes positively to it’s environment is, in terms of maturity, that many if not all of the original mature trees were retained. Further to the new developments there are original cottage type properties both on the Green and in Chapel Pill Lane .

Old Nurses Home Old Nurses Home 2

Ham Green House the large stately house at the head of Chapel Pill lane is now The Penny Brohn Cancer Centre but previous owners include the Meyler, Bright and Miles families.

  

At the end of the 18th century, Ham Green House was owned by a rich merchant family, the Brights, who also had scientific and cultural aspirations.

The mansion of Ham Green House, built on profits from the sugar trade, was the childhood home of Richard Bright, an influential doctor known for his rigorous scientific approach to medicine. In 1890, the estate was purchased by Bristol Corporation to be developed as an isolation hospital for patients with infectious diseases. The majority of the hospital closed in the early part of the 1990s and has been redeveloped for housing and the Eden Office Park,

Click below to read :

A Memorandum of Infection by James Macrae TD MD FRCP DPH

This memorandum by Dr James Macrae was circulated locally in 1969, but was never formally published. A copy is kept in the stack room of Bristol University Medical Library. It is a fascinating document, dealing not just with the development of an intensive care ward , but also with the changes in medical practice and administration in the first 70 years of the 20th century. Incidentally, it tells an interesting story of providing anaesthesia in the 1950s for routine T’s and A’s, and the bleeding tonsil.

The  “lost” gazebo in the grounds of the former Ham Green Hospital has now been fully restored by the current owners of Ham Green House, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, a leading UK charity specialising in complementary care helping people to live well with cancer.

The gazebo dates from around 1760, and was once part of extensive gardens. Occupying a low terrace overlooking the River Avon, the  hexagonal brick building retains many Gothic features, such as ogee windows and crenellations. It is accredited to the architect James Bridges, who rebuilt St Nicholas church and Bristol Bridge.

Around 1799  family member Richard Bright built an annex on to the side of the gazebo, to conduct various experiments with gases and minerals.  Humpry Davy was working in Hotwells at the same time and may have worked with Bright. Unfortunately the annex was demolished in 1841.

Nearby, on the river’s edge  behind a screen of trees is the Adam and Eve, a semi-circular whitewashed structure now housing a navigation light for shipping was once a landing stage for Ham Green house.  Local historian Gerald Hart suggested that the statues may have once stood on a mantelpiece, possibly in an earlier Ham Green House.

Swiss topographical artist Samuel Grimm drew a sketch of Mr Bright’s Pleasure Ground, complete with gazebo, towers and a ship docked at low tide in 1789.

Comment:

This area is so wonderful for children to grow up in. We have plenty of green space, great cycling facilities and a vibrant and busy centre to the village complete with cafe’s and a monthly market.

I fully support the local swimming pool and would like to see that becoming a more integral part of the community.

We also have a fantastic arts scene here. I have a beautiful original painting from a local artist in my home and I am able to enjoy theatre and drama locally.

All this positive community energy is a magnificent backdrop in which children can develop and learn. Just take a walk to the precinct on a Saturday morning to see the friendly, warm and entertaining residents of this fine village. I arrived 15 years ago but will never leave!

Children’s Play Areas:

Brookside Park and Ham Green fields
Are there are particular wild birds, animals, insects etc. resident or prevalent in the sub-area? * eg: sparrows, swifts, bats, frogs, slow worms, bees etc: Slow worms and bees

Important features or qualities:

The orchard, enclosed and with seating

Other Historical Features:

The  old coach house

RP Saturday July 28, 2012

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