Bower Ashton is a small district in south west Bristol on the western boundary with North Somerset, lying within the Southville ward, approximately two miles from the city centre. Ashton Court estate, a 850acre recreational area owned by Bristol City Council lies just to the north, the Long Ashton by-pass (Brunel Way, the A370) to the south and the River Avon to the east.The area is now mainly residential but also includes the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education (formerly the School of Creative Arts) of the University of the West of England, Ashton Park School, which is a specialist Sports College and the Horse and Dog section of Avon and Somerset Constabulary as well as about 180 allotments in 5 different areas. Clifton Bridge and Ashton Gate railway stations are both now closed, but there is some pressure to reopen the latter as part of a rapid transit link from Portishead.HistoryBower Ashton was historically a hamlet in the parish of Long Ashton in Somerset. In medieval times the area was owned by St Augustine's Abbey, but following the Dissolution the Smyth estate was established by John Smyth, a merchant from Small Street in the city, in the 16th century. In the 19th century Sir John Henry Greville Smyth rebuilt Ashton Court Mansion along with a now demolished Dower house on the present site of the School of Creative Arts. Maps of that era show a rope walk, Frayne's Colliery and Ashton Vale Iron works, scene of many tragic accidents, adjacent to the Portishead railway line. It appears from Bristol City Council documents that an Iron Foundry was in operation in the area until the 1940s.
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