The Arts Mansion

Project Title

The Arts Mansion

Project Dates

2018 -

Web Address

Contact Details

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Our vision is for Ashton Court to be an inclusive multi-use arts venue for Bristol and North Somerset facilitating art, theatre, performance and community activities. In May 2018 Artspace Lifespace (ASLS) stepped in to take on the running of the mansion while options are being considered for its future. Since opening the doors to the public, we welcomed over 19,000 visitors to the mansion, hosted exhibitions, free games and musical performances, family events, team away days and provided theatre and dance rehearsals.

During the summer we opened to the public between Wed to Sun as we wanted the public to have the opportunity to see inside this iconic historical building.  On September 28th we concluded our programme of public opening with a free heritage day with Show of Strength Theatre, Dig for Victory and an exhibition from artist Amy Hutchings, the Friends of Ashton Court Mansion volunteer group and visions for the future of Ashton Court from six local schools.

The music room, panelled lounges and great hall gallery are all available to hire for rehearsals, performances, exhibitions and other events. We recommend making appointments to view the mansion if you are thinking of hiring a space. Our office opening hours for booking enquiries are Wed-Fri.

We want Arts Mansion to be an inclusive arts venue running an interesting programme so get in touch with us to discuss your event and your maximum budget and we will try to accommodate you if we can. Residencies at Arts Mansion in 2019 included Amy Hutchings ( Jan/Feb), Limbec (Feb), Rebecca J Lesley (Feb/Mar) and Kat Lyons (June/July).  Applications for 2020 residencies will reopen in October 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will Artspace Lifespace be running Arts Mansion for?

Our lease is for five years but working with Bristol City Council and Bristol Civic Society we hope that by May 2020 the plan for long term future of Ashton Court Future will be determined.

The Purcell Report has now been published and indicates that the best hope for Ashton Court’s future would be for it to be taken on by a third sector organisation focused on restoration of the house.

Ashton Court Report – Towards a Sustainable Future

What are your opening hours?
Our office hours are Wed-Sun 11am-4pm. The mansion can be hired during the week and appointments to view the mansion can be made between Wed-Fri 12pm-2pm.

From May 2018 to September 2019 we regularly opened the house to the public. This was funded by Artspace Lifespace and we received no financial support from Bristol City Council or other funding sources. Unfortunately due to the small number of donations received we now won’t be open every weekend. However keep an eye on our Facebook page for news of forthcoming events and exhibitions which are open to the public and special tours which we plan to hold in partnership with the Friends of Ashton Court Mansion group. 

How can I contact you? 

Email: (preferred) or Tel: 0117 963 3438

What are your hirable spaces?

The Arts Mansion – Hireable Spaces

Can I tour the house? 

We will run occasional tours in partnership with the Friends of Ashton Court Mansion group. 

Do I have to pay to get in?
There will normally be no entry fee but donations to our charity are welcome. The exhibitions our artists run are normally free to enter. Events and performances normally charge an entry fee.

How can I make a donation to Artspace Lifespace?
We try to open the house to the public as much as possible but we are not funded by Bristol City Council or any other organisation to do so. 100% of the amount you donate via our fundraising site is given directly to Artspace Lifespace.



How do I get there? 

Public Transport: First operates a bus from Bristol to Ashton Court every 20 minutes.

From the Centre: 71 to Bower Ashton Campus, Bower Ashton + 10 min walk
From Anchor Road: X2/X3 to Clanage Road, Bower Ashton + 11 min walk

By Car: 2 miles from the city centre to the west, off the A369 to Portishead. Entrances at Bower Ashton, Long Ashton and Leigh Woods.

The nearest car park is Kennel Lodge Road Car Park. Parking costs £1.20 per day.

Arts Mansion entrance is via the Great Hall Gallery which faces onto the West Lawn. You can walk around the North Side of the Building (Wheelchair accessible) or along the South Lawn (steps either side) to reach the Arts Mansion entrance.

“We are delighted to be working with Artspace Lifespace to open up the mansion house to the public while decisions are made on its long term future.

“We know how important the mansion house is to the people of Bristol, and it will be fantastic to see it full of life again.”

Asher Craig,
Deputy Mayor