© © Cat McCabe
- Situated in the beautiful parkland of the Blaise Estate at Henbury - the Museum is situated in an 18th century house and holds most of the Museums Service's 30,000 social history collection. Blaise has famous connections - it was immortalised by Jane Austen who described it as 'the finest place in England in her book Northanger Abbey. The Museum contains exhibits of everyday life from centuries past including an impressive domestic equipment gallery, a Victorian toy room including the museum's popular model train collection, old period costumes, other items of everyday life and a beautiful picture gallery. Blaise Castle House was built in 1796-98 for John Harford, a wealthy Bristol merchant and banker. He was also responsible for building Blaise Hamlet, to house his servants and tenants. At the same time the grounds were laid out by Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) a leading landscape gardener. Parts of Repton's designs still exist, notably the impressive carriage drive which winds its way from the house. The Regency architect John Nash was responsible for the addition of the dairy and the conservatory.