Friday, 19 August 2011

This Week at Ashdown

The conservation work is about to start! The portable cabins have gone up on the lawn in front of the house, looking curiously like the prefabricated huts that occupied the same position during the Second World War when US, Canadian and British troops were stationed at Ashdown. You can just see the main house peeking over the top in this rather rainy scene!

Before the work gets going, here are a few pictures giving an idea of some of the work that needs to be done:
Extensive repairs to the cupola. Yes, it does look a bit weatherbeaten!

Repair and replacement of the chalk blocks in the external walls. You can see how much of the chalk has worn away here on the south front of the house.

Re-laying of the Cotswold stone slates on the main roof and dormers. This was a photo taken a few years ago, the last time the house underwent some work.

Meanwhile the house is still open and guided tours of the interior and the portrait collection continue. On Wednesday it was very busy with a lacemaking demonstration in the Information Centre, a display by the Sealed Knot in front of the house and wood-turning in the grounds. Photos of all of that next week, I hope, when the sun will be shining!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Conservation in Action at Ashdown

Ashdown House is extending its presence on the web. Yes, we have gone digital with a Facebook page at and a Twitter account @AshdownHouseNT for short and sweet updates on everything that's going on at your favourite 17th century hunting lodge! The main reason for this is that in a couple of weeks time the scaffolding will be going up and a conservation project will be starting. The purpose of the project is to re-roof the house and to do major structural repairs. The progress of the project will be shared here on the blog and visitors to the house will be able to take special tours to see the conservation work in action. It's a very exciting time for all those of us who work at Ashdown and we will be able to see this amazing house with the roof off and to learn much more about its history, design and construction, plus all aspects of the conservation process. I hope that you will enjoy following progress here and on Facebook and Twitter, and that those visitors who can join us at Ashdown will enjoy seeing conservation in action!