ST6270 BATH ROAD, Brislington
901-1/49/440 (North side)
21/03/84 Brislington House and attached
(Formerly Listed as:
Insane asylum, now nursing home. 1804, refronted and chapel
added 1851. For Dr EL Fox. Render over ashlar and rubble,
asphalt and slate roof.
PLAN: a series of blocks linked by a spine corridor with a
cross wing to the left. Long, late Palladian style front,
formed by a flat-roofed central block with inner and outer
wings each side.
EXTERIOR: middle block 3 storeys and basement; 9-window range.
Rusticated ground floor with vermiculated quoins; first-floor
string, cornice with carved heads and balustrade. Doric porch
with pediment and semicircular-arched doorway, tripartite
windows to the sides. Ground-floor windows have keys in the
rustication; the first-floor windows have alternately
segmental and straight pediments on carved consoles and
panelled jambs; second-floor windows are smaller, in moulded
architraves; all with metal casements. The outer bays are set
The rear elevation has 2 full-height bay windows, and a
semicircular basement extension. The inner flanking wings are
lower: 3 storeys; 3-window range. 6/6-pane sashes in a moulded
architrave, the first-floor middle windows pedimented like the
central block. The outer wings are 6-window ranges, with
cornices over the first-floor windows. The 2nd window out from
the centre is part of a slightly projecting bay, framed by
rusticated pilasters and a pediment.
To the right is an attached pavilion, extended forward: 2
storeys and attic; 3-window range. First-floor windows in
recessed bays, a pediment and parapet, and hipped roof. A mid
C20 passage links a further block of 2 storeys and an attic;
5-window range. 6/6 sashes, 2 right-hand windows in a shallow,
full-height bay, and narrow lights in the frieze below the
cornice, with dormers above.
The final block of 2 storeys; 2-window range. A canted bay on
the left, and a doorway with a flat architrave and cornice,
around a semicircular doorway, a fine fanlight and a 6-panel
door. A central balustrade extends either side of the entrance
porch, ending in tall lancet-sectioned piers, carrying the Fox
family emblem of a chained hound.
The Chapel steps forward from the left-hand end and faces the
centre. Greek cross plan. Single storey; 3-window range.
Rusticated ground floor, clasping pilasters, cornice and
pediment; the doorcase has a heavy segmental pediment with
panelled entablature and large consoles; above is a niche
within a sunken panel. A bellcote with volute brackets
surmounts the pediment.
INTERIORS: The 2 stone stairs and cast-iron landings around
open, top-lit wells are among the few original details. Chapel
has large ornate reredos enclosing family window from Church
of St Luke's (qv), Brislington; organ loft; ceiling has
plaster panels to the beams and Corinthian modillion corbels.
HISTORICAL NOTE: built c1804 by Dr EL Fox to pioneer the
humane treatment of the insane, the house consisted of the
central 9-window range flanked either side by three 2-storey
flat-roofed blocks, which were linked by a covered tunnel at
the front. Metal windows, doors, floor joists and blinds were
part of the fireproof construction. Men and women were
accommodated separately in opposite wings, and the separate
blocks reflected the social standing of the occupants. The
existing front and the chapel were added in 1851. The end
house was built for the Fox family. Swiss Cottage, Ironmould
Lane (qv) was built as special accommodation for a peer.
(Gomme A, Jenner M and Little B: Bristol, An Architectural
History: Bristol: 1979-: 280; The Buildings of England:
Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 465;
Rowe J and Williams D: Bygone Brislington: Bristol: 1986-:
Listing NGR: ST6328770238