Stoke Park House

Venue Type & Location

Private Residence

Site Name: Stoke Park House
Location: Stoke GIfford
County: Gloucestershire
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location


Stoke Park is situated to the S of the town of Stoke Gifford, on Purdown ridge, commanding wide views over Bristol, Kingswood and the adjacent Frome valley.

There were probably 3 different manor houses, all built on different sites. The first is no longer extant and its location is conjectural; the second, as shown on the 1712 engraving here presented, was on the site of the the present house. The present Stoke Park House consists of a central block with wings, forming an 'H,' dating primarily from the 1750s--60s. The rooms on the E side are on the site of the Elizabethan great hall. The only visible 16th c. remnants are the rampart and terrace on which the house stands and a late 16th c. balustrade.

Current Status

Privately owned; currently (2004) under conversion into flats for sale.

History of the Venue

1337 Manor granted to Sir Maurice de Berkeley, a younger son of Maurice, 2nd Baron Berkeley. Berkeley built a house on a different site than the old manor house, possibly near the present Court Farm, to the E of St Michael's Church.

1543 Leland describes the house as 'a manor place of the Barkeleys in ruine, and a parke waulle.'

1553 Sir Richard Berkeley built Stoke House on the current site.

1749--52 and 1760--4 House and gardens completely remodelled by Thomas Wright of Durham for Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt, becoming Stoke Park.

1770--86 House passed to Baron Botetourt's sister, Elizabeth, Duchess of Beaufort, who continued work on the estate under Wright's supervision. At this time the house became known as the Dower House. After the Duchess' death in 1799, the house was occupied by a succession of tenants.

1896--1906 The 8th Duke and Duchess of Beaufort resided at Stoke Park Dower House.

1908 Leased (and in 1915 purchased) by Rev. Harold Nelson Burden and his wife. They founded a 'colony' for mentally-handicapped children. The stables were converted and renamed Ivy Lodge; the Orangery was used as a chapel.

1913 Hosptial block built to the N.

1936 Surgical building built to the N, which became the Burden Neurologocal Institute in 1939.

1985 Hospital closed and patients removed. Site redeveloped for housing.

ca. 2000 Hospital buildings demolished (except for a battlemented Clock Tower) and the grounds developed for housing.

ca. 2002 House converted to flats; conversion still in progress, and the house surrounded by builder's fencing, at the time of visit and photography (July 2004).

Patrons who owned this venue

Name Dates Titles
Berkeley, Maurice 1400-1464 Knight
Berkeley, Richard 1531-1605 Knight

Bibliographic Sources

  • Atkyns, Sir Robert. The Ancient and Present State of Glostershire. London: W. Bowyer, 1712.
  • Hall, Linda J. Rural Houses of North Avon & South Gloucestershire 1400-1720. Bristol: City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 1983.
  • Leech, Joseph. Church-goer Rural Rides; or Calls at Country Churches. Np: Npub, 1850.
  • Rudder, Samuel. A New History of Gloucestershire . Cirencester: Samuel Rudder, 1779.
  • Smith, William James. 'Rise of the Berkeleys: An Account of the Berkeleys of Berkeley Castle, 1243-1361.' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 70–1 (1951): 64–80; 101–121.
  • Stoke Gifford Parish Council. The History of Stoke Park. 06/06/2005 (
  • Verey, David, and Alan Brooks. Gloucestershire. The Buildings of England. 2 vols. London: Penguin Books, 1999–2002.