350BC-1AD – Dobunni occupation at Burwalls and Stokeleigh hill forts. The present day property stands on the edge of this camp.
43-410 – Romans establish a settlement at Sea Mills, villa at Kings Weston.
410-1089 – Anglo-Saxon Britain. Present day Ashton Court is managed as three plots according to the Domesday Book and archaeological evidence suggests some form of habitation here before the Saxons.
1066 – Norman Conquest
1089 – Land is given to Geoffrey, Bishop of Countances by William the Conqueror
1095 – Land returns to Crown ownership
1259 – Alexander de Auno inherits most of Leigh Woods, including Stokeleigh and Burwalls camps from his father. He grants the land to St Katharine’s Hospital, Bedminster
1331 – Land is given to the Abbey of St Augustine
1541 – Dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Land returns to Crown ownership.
1545 – Smyth family purchases Ashton Court, they owned it for the next 400 years
1568 – Land is owned by the Manor of Abbots Leigh briefly, there follows a dispute with Manor of Ashton, who takes ownership
1588 – Land is passed to Manor of Bedminster
1605 – Land becomes part of the Ashton Court estate. No change until sell-off in 1860s/70s.
1670-1720 – Present day veteran oak tree begins life
1830-1865 – Nightingale Valley and surrounds leased to William Watkins as a rabbit warren
1852 – Greville Smyth inherits the Ashton Court estate aged 16
1864 – Clifton Suspension Bridge is completed
1874 – Alfred Thornley (hatter, clothier and outfitter of Clare Street, Old City) purchases plot from the Leigh Woods Land Company and builds the core of the house
1880 – Arthur Edward Gregory Way buys the property from Alfred Thornley. Arthur was first cousin to both the “head of household” and “lady of the house” at the Ashton Court estate, Sir Greville Smyth and Emily Smyth (nee Way). His father was Arthur Edwin Way, the estate manager and MP for Bath. His brother, Claude Greville Way, moves in.
1884 – Marriage of Ashton Court’s second-to-last owners, Greville Smyth and Emily Edwards (widow of George Oldham Edwards)
1888 – Marriage of Arthur Edward Gregory Way to Ada Louisa Cave of Brentry House
1890 – Arthur Way publishes No. 747 Being the Autobiography of a Gipsy and contributes £1,000 to the construction of St Mary’s Church, Leigh Woods
1909 – Nightingale Valley bought by George Alfred Wills and given to the National Trust
1919 – Arthur Way dies
1936 – Ada Louise Way (nee Cave) dies. End of Way ownership. Evans family owns property. Land sold off.
1939-1940 – Sir Adrian Boult CH is moved to the house by the BBC to continue wartime orchestra activity
1946 – Lucas family buys property. Ashton Court estate runs out of funds. Esme Smyth dies.
1953 – Lucas family sells propery,
1959 – Ashton Court purchased by Bristol City Council
Page citation: Coates, Ashley. “Timeline – A History of a Bristol House.” A History of a Bristol House, ahousehistory.com, 9 Apr. 2021, https://ahousehistory.com/timeline/.