The Red Lodge is a historic Elizabethan house, tucked away near to the buzz of the busy shopping areas of Park Steet and the Christmas Steps. A visit is the perfect way to add a splash of history and culture to a day in the city centre.
The Red Lodge has been restored several times throughout its 400 year history. Originally a lodge to the Great House (which once stood on the site of the present Colston Hall), where Queen Elizabeth I once stayed, the Red Lodge is often described as Bristol's hidden treasure and houses the Great Oak Room, one of the finest rooms in the West Country.
As you step up the winding staircase and enter through the porch of the Great Oak Room, you will marvel at the magnificent oak panelling, the plasterwork ceiling and the magnificent carved stone chimneypiece. Downstairs, the Reception Room, Print Room and staircase are all fine examples of Georgian architecture.
The Red Lodge has had several uses, and was once used as a reform school for girls set up by Mary Carpenter. A room in the Lodge is dedicated to her memory. The walled garden is one of The Red Lodge's best features and is an excellent example of a re-created Elizabethan-style knot garden with herbaceous borders.
In 2010, workmen in a downstairs room of the Red Lodge Museum discovered a well that was covered over by a brick capping. The well was probably dug at the same time as the house was built, in 1580, when it would have been outside the house. The well is now a fantastic attraction within the Museum.
Virtual Tour via Google Expeditions
You can use Google Expeditions to access Bristol Museums' wider collection. Once downloaded, search for search for ‘Elizabethan life in Bristol’ to find the virtual tour. Click here to find out more.
About the house
The Red Lodge Museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm, and entry is free. Note that group visits should be booked in advance.
There are seven rooms over two floors that tell the history of the house, from its Tudor origins to its role as a Victorian girls reform school.
• Great oak room
• Small oak room
• Print room
• Reception room
• Contains a small display on the Red Lodge Girls Reform School
The Knot Garden:
• The walled garden at the Red Lodge is an excellent example of a re-created Elizabethan-style knot garden with herbaceous borders. All the plants grown here could have been found in English gardens by 1630.
A visit to the Red Lodge is a fascinating way to while away a couple of hours, and is a perfect accompanyment to a visit to the nearby Georgian House Museum.
- Documentary on The Red Lodge, independently produced by Theresa Roche
|Open (4 Apr 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
- In town/city centre
- Indoor Attraction
- Max group size - 65
- Min group size - 10
- Of historic, literary or architectural interest
Parking & Transport
- On Bus Route
Tours and Demonstrations
- Educational Visits Accepted
- Guided Tours Available for Groups - Must be booked in advance. A charge will be made for curator time.
- Groups Accepted - Must be booked in advance. A charge will be made for curator time.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good64
- Ann LBristol, United KingdomGreat visitSaturday, 14th December 2019This museum is in Park Row next to the Trenchard Street car park The museum is FREE but donations would be gratefully received The museum is open from 1st April to 31st December each year and... Read full review
- hollydayBristolbristolan elizabethan gemSaturday, 14th March 2020a house full of history with connections relevant to us today. a must visit location for everyone. better than any tv or book about the period. this is living history preserved for us to enjoy. the... Read full review
- CVLC1Trip Type:Friends getawayAmazing historic houseSunday, 24th April 2022Recently reopened and well worth a visit. It is self guided but the room attendant is really chatty and full of knowledge. This is oldest house in Bristol and has amazing wood panelling. It is worth... Read full review