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Bishops Knoll

A Woodland Trust wood
Stoke Bishop

Bishops Knoll

2.98 ha (7.36 acres)
Grid ref:
OS map sheets:
Explorer 155
OS Landranger 172
Get directions
Wood map

Features and attractions

  • Parking less than 500m away
  • Information on site
  • Good views
  • Mixed woodland
  • Special wildlife interest
  • Well worth a visit

Bishops Knoll is a wonderful hidden garden and woodland from the 19th Century. The site is on the outskirts of Sneed Park and the Avon Gorge in Bristol. Although overgrown with ivy, bamboo and laurel, the woodland is slowly being uncovered as we discover the lost ornamental terraced gardens and arboretum. It has a fascinating history, first recorded as a medieval deer park, gifted by Henry VIII after the dissolution of the monasteries to Sir Ralph Sadler (portrayed in the BBC drama Wolf Hall). It later became the grounds of a large late-nineteenth century estate house called The Knoll when it was developed into a series of terraced gardens, a sloping arboretum, orchards, lawns and paddocks with a network of 'pleasure' paths – much of which still remains. The house was used as a First World War hospital for Australian soldiers, set up and run by the then owner Robert Bush at his own expense. The woodland contains a mix of veteran exotic and ancient trees and planted native broadleaves including oak, ash, hazel and hawthorn. Well used paths allow a wide network of walks, with many interesting features to look out for and views across the gorge to Leigh Woods.