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Museum and heritage sites to visit


A steam train at Avon Valley Railway

Avon Valley Railway

Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol BS30 6HD

The Avon Valley Railway is returning steam to the former Midland Railway branch line between Bristol and Bath. See the beautifully restored Victorian station, take a ride in a heritage carriage behind one of the steam or diesel locomotives, enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the station buffet and pick up a railway-themed souvenir in the gift shop.

Frenchay Museum

Frenchay Village Museum

Begbrook Park, junction with Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1SZ

Exhibits include a bar of chocolate exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 by JS Fry & Sons; the Bristol Riots of 1831; the 90-year story of Frenchay Hospital; 18th century porcelain made by Richard Champion; children’s display with hands-on wooden toys; a quiz; visiting exhibitions.  A study area has many local records and local history books are for sale.

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Kingswood Heritage Museum

Tower Lane, Warmley, Bristol BS30 8XT

The museum is located in the former William Champion 18th century zinc and brass work and features a windmill tower.  Permanent exhibits illustrate Kingswood Forest, coal mining, Douglas motorcycles, World I and II, Kleen-e-ze, non-conformist religion, Edwardian Kingswood, the boot and shoe trade and the Dram Road.  There are regular guided walks round Warmley Historic Garden and the Grotto.

Thornbury and District Museum

Thornbury & District Museum

Chapel Street, Thornbury BS35 2BJ

This small, independent museum illustrates the history of Thornbury and the Lower Severn Vale through its collections of archaeological, social, domestic and trade items. A special exhibition features the ‘Thornbury Roman Coin Hoard’ discovered in 2004. Short term exhibitions featuring a wide range of topics are changed regularly. The collection in store can be viewed by arrangement. The shop stocks local publications.

Yate and Heritage Museum

Yate & District Heritage Centre

St Mary’s Green, Church Road, Yate BS37 5BG

The Heritage Centre provides a full heritage service for the Yate and Sodbury areas. The centre provides changing local history displays, space for community art exhibitions, history and community events.  A free education service and regular holiday activities are offered. The local history collections comprising artefacts, documents and electronic images are available for research. The building was formerly Victorian stables.

Ram Hill Colliery

Ram Hill Colliery

Near Coalpit Heath, The site is in a private road off Broad Lane, Ram Hill (nearest postcode is BS36 2TY).

The coal mine was operated from the1820’s to the 1860s by the Coalpit Heath Colliery Company. The site contains the top of the shaft, remains of the horse gin, steam engine house, storage bunkers and the terminus of the Dramway, which transported the coal to the river Avon at Keynsham.

Find out more.

Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust

Building 165B, PO box 3 Filton, Bristol BS34 7QE (for satnav use BS34 6QA)

The Heritage Trust maintains the aero engineering heritage of Rolls-Royce and its local predecessors. Over 50 engines are on show from the Bristol Jupiter of 1920, Cherub and Lucifer through the Mercury, Hercules and Proteus to Concorde’s Olympus, the Harrier’s Pegasus and the RB.199. An extensive archive of books, technical manuals, photographs, paintings, videos, films, sales literature and models is available to researchers.

Winterbourne Barn ceiling

Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust

Church Lane, Winterbourne BS36 1SE (next to St Michael’s Church)

The barn, built by Thomas de Bradeston in 1342, is one of the largest and earliest barns in the area. A fine example of raised-cruck construction with walls of local Pennant sandstone, the original 14th century roof structure is largely intact. The barn is open for pre-booked events and tours only – private tours for groups can be arranged.

Acton Court

Acton Court

Latteridge road, Iron Acton, Bristol BS37 9TJ

Acton Court’s remaining east wing was built in 1535 for a visit by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  This unique Grade 1 listed Tudor building has been preserved largely intact; both house and grounds are scheduled monuments. The house is open to the public for a limited period during the summer. Professional guides give tours of the house and grounds.

Large green open parkland with a late 17th-century mansion and garden in the distance

National Trust Dyrham Park

Nr, Bath, SN14 8HY

A 17th-century house nestled within an ancient deer park. Built by civil servant William Blathwayt, the house is home to some exquisite Dutch-influenced paintings and ceramics.

 Concorde AF

Aerospace Bristol

Hayes Way, Bristol, BS34 5BZ

Open now in the north of Bristol, Aerospace Bristol will whisk you away on an immersive journey through more than a century of aviation. Enjoy fun interactive and amazing exhibits – including aeroplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites, engines and more before going aboard Concorde Alpha Foxtrot – the final Concorde to be built and the last to fly.

Warmley Signal Box

Warmley signal box

Warmley Signal Box, Siston, Warmley, Bristol, BS30

The signal box replaced an earlier one in 1877, built 8 years after the opening of the Bath and Mangotsfield branch in 1869, which closed in 1971. The box, which is a Midland Railway type 4D, was taken out of use in 1968 and is now open to the public most Saturdays. Warmley signal box sits on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path where the path cuts across the High Street/London Road, Warmley. This means that it has excellent accessibility for walkers, cyclists and drivers.

See here for further information.


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