2.98 ha (7.36 acres)

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Explorer 155
OS Landranger 172

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. It was 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 also 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 at Bishops Knoll contains a mix of veteran exotic and ancient trees as well as 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.


  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
Early purple orchid with blurred background

A lasting legacy

This wood is just one of many to have been protected by gifts in wills, securing it for generations to come. Your legacy gift could also make a real difference to woods, trees and wildlife.

Learn what your gift could mean


Bishops Knoll Management Plan

PDF  (138 KB)