Bide's gardens

bide's gardens

Between Court Ash and Red Lion Lane


Bide’s Gardens were donated to the town by Thomas William Dampier-Bide (1844-1916), the son of glove manufacturer Thomas Dampier (1801-1876).

He lived in Kingston Manor House and on his death in 1916 bequeathed a large part of the grounds of Kingston Manor House, lying between Higher Kingston, Court Ash, Court Ash Terrace, Kingston and Red Lion Lane, known thereafter as Bide’s Gardens, to the town.

From 1922 until the early 1950's a captured German howitzer of the First World War was mounted on a low stone plinth in the gardens.

Yeovil lost Bide's Gardens in the 1970's with the building of the Yeovil District Hospital and the widening of Reckleford.



A map based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey showing the grounds of Kingston Manor between Red Lion Lane, Court Ash and Court Ash Terrace that was donated to the town as Bide's Gardens in 1916. 




This postcard dates to the 1920's and shows the path along the edge of Bide's Gardens at right. At a much lower level to the left is Court Ash Terrace with vehicles waiting to get into the market. At extreme left is Court Ash House, demolished in 1937 to make way for the new Odeon cinema on its site.


Courtesy of Betty Barber (née Bird)

A 1920's postcard of the view from Bide's Gardens looking across to St John's church.


From my collection

A postcard from the 1920s (postmarked June 1930), showing the new hospital as seen from Bide's Gardens.


From my collection

A postcard from the early 1930s (postmarked September 1934), showing the new hospital as seen from Bide's Gardens. Note the Great War howitzer at bottom centre. 


Courtesy of Jack Sweet

A view of the Great War howitzer (a great attraction for little boys of all ages) in Bide's Gardens dating to about 1930. Note the houses behind the tree at centre which pre-dated Vincent's car showrooms, seen below.


From my collection

A postcard dated 1933 showing the Princes Street entrance to Bide's Gardens. Note the cars in Vincent's new showrooms at left.


A photograph taken from Bide's Gardens in the 1930's looking down to Court Ash running off to the left and Princes Street at centre.


From my collection

A postcard (postmarked 1944), looking across Court Ash towards St John's church from Bide's Gardens. Note at centre, adjacent to Vincent's, the rooftops of the market buildings in the area between Court Ash and North Lane which is now the car park. 


From my collection

A postcard (I'm guessing from the early 1940s), showing the Princes Street entrance to Bide's Gardens.


From my collection

The central section of the previous postcard enlarged.


From my collection

A postcard dated November 1942 showing the Court Ash / Princes Street / Kingston junction from Bide's Gardens. The shop with the car parked outside was Tilzey's photographic studio.


A photograph of the 1950's looking across Bide's Gardens and showing the howitzer.


Courtesy of Jack Sweet

A photograph of Bides Gardens taken around 1955, probably from the top of the Odeon.


From my collection

Detail from a postcard sent in 1957 featuring the Bide's Gardens shelter.


Courtesy of David Perry

A lovely photo of the Bides Gardens' shelter taken in the mid-1960s when the hospital's maternity unit was being built in the background.


A postcard dated 1950, looking towards Princes Street, that includes the Bide's Gardens howitzer at extreme left.


Courtesy of Colin Haine  -  This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'

Bide's Gardens in the 1950s, as published in the Yeovil Express. 


Bides Gardens, photographed in the mid-1950s.


From my collection

A postcard (postmarked September 1959), looking towards Kingston. 


Bide's Gardens seen from Princes Street around 1960 with Court Ash running off to the right behind Vincent's showrooms just glimpsed at extreme right. By this time the iron railings seen in the top photo had gone.


A 1960's photograph of the 'top' end of Bide's Gardens at left. This the junction of Reckleford, running across the photograph, The Avenue with the red car exiting onto Reckleford and Court Ash Terrace in the lower half of the photograph. At top right is the Black Horse.


Photographed roughly from where the red car is in the previous photo during the early 1960s, this is the 'top' entrance to Bide's gardens with Higher Kingston to the right with Yeovil's old General Hospital.


The entrance to Bide's Gardens photographed around 1965. Court Ash is at centre right with Vincent's showrooms at right.


The same view photographed in 1968....


.... and photographed in 2013.