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Richmond House

Richmond House is one of the oldest houses in Clifton, built between 1701-1703 on the site of the medieval manor house burned during the Civil War, which had once been the home of Richard ap Merrick.

He sponsored the explorer, John Cabot, who sailed from Bristol in 1497 and discovered Newfoundland, and is now believed to have given his patronymic to name the continent of America. The house has a fine staircase, and a partly panelled room. In the 1790s the house was used as a boarding school for young gentlemen run by a Mr William Sewell, and in the early 1840s Mr and Mrs J K Bragge also ran a boys' boarding school here. Mr Bragge was one of the honorary secretaries of the Merchant Seamen's Bible Society for the Port of Bristol, formed "to promote the religious and moral improvement of our seamen". From the 1860s until the 1940s the house was the home of the Revd Mr Smith and his large family of maiden daughters, one of whom became one of the first women on the city council (1920) and one of the first female JPs. A noted horsewoman, the site of her stables is now occupied (in part) by Sinclair House.




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