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Home > New Search > Ashdown House (Ashdown Park), Oxfordshire

Ashdown House (Ashdown Park), Oxfordshire  England 
Lambourn, Ashbury, near Newbury, Oxfordshire, England

Circa Date: 1660s

Status: Fully Extant

Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village
Lambourn, Ashbury, near Newbury

Start Date
Completion Date
Circa Date

The House from an early 20th century postcard


Designed   May have designed pavilion wings (and possibly the entire house) for his godfather, the 1st Earl of Craven.
Date   1660s
Attribution of this work is uncertain.

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Fully Extant
Extant Details

House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Grade II*
Country House:  No

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Country Life
XXXIII, 454, 1913.
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Access / Ownership / Seat

Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Historic Houses Association Member
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
Fax Number

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
The National Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use
Visitor Attraction
Current Ownership Use / Details

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
Pete Townshend, since 2010.
A Past Seat(s) of
William, 1st Earl of Craven, 17th century.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
1st Earl of Craven
House & Family History
Ashdown was built as a hunting lodge or villa in the Classical style by William, 1st Earl of Craven, for Elizabeth, the Winter Queen of Bohemia (sister of Charles I). Lord Craven was apparently in love in Elizabeth, though she died in 1662 before construction for the House even began. There are no reliable records for the architect or date of Ashdown, but it can be reasonably assigned to the architect William Winde on stylistic grounds and is very much in the style of the Anglo-Dutch design of the mid-17th century brought to England by the Restoration of Charles II. The five-bay House is unuslally tall and is frequently compared to a doll's house. Its original setting was in a forest with long, straight avenues that radiated out in four directions. During World War II Ashdown was requisitioned by the army, who left the House in near-derelict condition when they vacated. Cornelia, Countess of Craven, donated Ashdown and its Estate to the National Trust in 1956. The House has been leased to tenants since it came under the ownership of the National Trust; in 2010 Pete Townshend purchased a 41-year lease on Ashdown, which he will make his home.
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.
Asdown once contained the noted Craven Art Collection, which has been largely dispersed and sold.

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
Chapel & Church

Location for Movies / TV
"The Foreman Went to France" (1942).

Author   Pevsner, Nikolaus
Year Published   1966

Author   Musson, Jeremy
Year Published   2005
Reference   pg. 24

Author   Tinniswood, Adrian
Year Published   1992
Reference   pg. 8

There are no documents associated with this house.

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