Ashdown House, Oxfordshire
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Ashdown House near Lambourn on the borders of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, was the hunting lodge of the Earls of Craven from 1660 until the estate passed to the National Trust in 1954. It is approximately seventeen miles from Lydiard Park.
At the end of the reign of Queen Anne in 1714, Henry St John, first Viscount Bolingbroke and Secretary of State from 1710 – 1714, leased the house from Lord Craven for a short time before fleeing to France and joining the court of the Pretender, James Stuart. It is said that Ashdown’s isolated position on the Downs made it the ideal place to discuss Jacobite politics.
In 1793, Frederick St John, second son of the 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke married the Hon Arabella Craven, the daughter of William, 6th Baron Craven, thereby uniting the two powerful neighbouring families. Arabella and Frederick had nine children and for part of their married life lived close to both Ashdown and Lydiard at Rockley Manor in Wiltshire.
Ashdown House was originally built for William 1st Earl of Craven, a soldier and courtier who supported King Charles I during the English Civil War. Described by Pevsner as possessing a “dolls-house style profile” it is open to the visit on Wednesdays and Saturdays between April and October.
- Designed by Balthazar Gerbier or William Winde
- Lambourn, Hungerford RG17 8RE
- The National Trust
- Friends of Lydiard Park
- Nicola Cornick
- Last updated on:
- Saturday 5th February 2022