Rumours of ghostly occurrences at Ashton Court Estate on the outskirts of Bristol have been circulating for years. The area comprises a yellow mansion house and 850 acres of woods and grassland, perfect for harbouring a secret or two…
The estate dates back to the fourteenth century, and for nearly 500 years belonged to the Smyth family. When the last of the Smyths to live there died in 1946 it was taken over by the council, and despite costly restoration only around a quarter of the mansion is in a fit state to be used for events today. When electricians were rewiring the building in 1960 they were too spooked to work there alone. One day, as they were sat in a side room, they heard a whirlwind-like noise in the Long Gallery where they had been working. They were surprised to find that the wires and cables, left strewn around the room, had been rolled neatly back into their reels and balls while they were away.
A familiar figure said to haunt the estate is the headless horseman, who rides around on moonlit nights, and grey ladies who are able to float through locked doors. There have also been whispers about ghostly black dogs or phantom hounds in the grounds; perhaps this is connected to the dog graveyard which lies there, poignantly commemorating the Smyth family’s old companions.
Opening times and prices
Ashton Court is open every day between 8am-5pm. Admission is free unless there is a special event on, and you can park there for £1 per vehicle per day.
How to get there
Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN.