History of the Penny Brohn UK Garden

Interact with the fascinating history of Penny Brohn UK’s tranquil garden with our interactive garden tour.

Pill has a rich and fascinating history and a lot of that history is connected with our beautiful National Centre and grounds.

Perambulation: The building uncoils through a series of circles, with an open courtyard leading to the perimeter of the garden, the sweeping pathway retraces back to the 18th century ‘perambulation’ taken by those living here at that time.

Bright’s Laboratory: Richard Bright discovered Nephritis, known as Brights disease. The symptoms and signs of the disease were first described in 1827 by English physician Richard Bright, he lived at Ham Green House for several years.

Ham Green Hospital: In 1894 Bristol Corporation was searching for a site for an isolation hospital to meet the smallpox public health obligations. So they bought Ham Green House and created the isolation hospital which opened in 1899, had 185 beds and 889 patients in 1907.

Cedar House: Located within cedar centre (referred to as the summer house) is made from recycled wood from a felled cedar tree that used to live in the garden. You can still see the trunk in the floor of the building today!

Ham Green Pottery: The pottery was produced between 1100 AD to 1250 AD at a hamlet, above the village of Pill, called Ham Green. The site was excavated in 1959, when 6,915 fragments of pottery were uncovered, mainly decorated pieces of jugs and cooking pots.

Basement Tunnels: A water-gate for Ham House along the river bank in the form of The Adam and Eve, named after the two figures. In 1893, Ham Green House was purchased by Bristol Council for use as an isolation hospital. It was placed to receive sailors returning to Bristol or Avonmouth, who had contracted tropical disease. Many of these arrived by sea, via the Adam and Eve water-gate.

Find out more about the history of our National Centre and grounds by exploring our interactive garden map here.

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