Bristol 'Doors Open' Days

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Yesterday, I went to Bristol to enjoy the annual 'Doors Open Days' weekend. So many people were out and about enjoying the day- not even regular cloud bursts could put them off!

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Our first stop was The Georgian House Museum. The home of a Bristol sugar plantation owner, John Pinney, the house is set up to look as it might have done around 1790.

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Each room is beautifully laid out, giving an insight into life at that time. How the views from the windows must have changed!

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Upstairs there is a display, reminding visitors that this opulence was born as the result of the cruelty and inhumanity of the slave trade. 

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Our next stop was The Red Lodge Museum. This beautiful building was built in the gardens of The Great House which was where Colston Hall is now. To get to the house, you walk through the Knot Garden and up the stairs.

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The house contains the three rooms of the original lodge- wonderful wood panelled rooms with beautiful ceilings- as well as other rooms which were added by the family when they extended it in the 1730s.

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The building was also home to the first reform school for girls. It is a fascinating place! The room guides were lovely- so helpful and knowledgeable. 

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Off through the pouring rain we went to Colston's Almshouses and Chapel on St Michael's Hill. The chapel is in the centre with housing on either side. The chapel is panelled with ships’ timbers and has undergone few alterations since the 1690s.

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Charles Wesley's house was next on our list. Once again, the room guides were wonderful- full of enthusiasm and information. The house is laid out to give visitors an idea of what an eighteenth century family home would look like.

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We made our way down Christmas Steps in the now torrential rain. By the time we reached the harbourside, the sky had cleared and the sun was doing its best to shine through!

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Our final visit was to the Lightship John Sebastian. Built in 1855, this is one of a few historic vessels in Bristol harbour and is the last wooden lightship still afloat in the world.

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Doors Open Day is such a wonderful idea, encouraging people to explore Bristol and see pieces of history that are not always open to the general public. Although we will go again for next year's, we will be back to explore more of Bristol's treasures before then.

You can find out more about the places we visited on their websites.