Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Open for Visitors!

Today I had the thrilling experience of taking the scaffolding tour to see the conservation work that is taking place on Ashdown House. I urge everyone (assuming that you are not on another continent or afraid of heights!) to come to Ashdown and take this tour while you can because it is an amazing experience! The tour first ascends three flights to look at the replacement of the chalk stone blocks on the walls. Visitors are then taken up to the viewing platform above the roof. At this stage you are four storeys up and on a level with Ashdown's flat roof and cupola, the top of which is currently suspended to allow work on it to take place. This part of the tour has a lot of "wow" factor! From here you can see the replacement of the Cotswold slate roof, the work that is taking place on the flat roof and the cupola, and the massive leaning chimneys of Ashdown. You can also look out through specially appointed "windows" to view the surrounding countryside.

The house itself is also open, albeit without our fine portrait collection whilst the conservation work is ongoing. Tours of the house and gardens will be taking place as well as the scaffolding tour, and the Information Centre has a new display.

Practical arrangements: Ashdown House is open on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 5pm. First opening day is Wednesday 4th April. The woodlands are open every day except Fridays. Scaffolding tours take place on Wednesdays only, the first tour starting at 2.15pm. Places are limited, so please be prompt. For safety reasons no under 18s can take the scaffolding tour and no people in inappropriate footwear. Sensible shoes and boots, please!

We hope that you enjoy visiting the house and seeing it not only in its 350th anniversary year but at a time in its history when so much exciting work is taking place.


Minerva Black said...

I'm so pleased to read this! How exciting to have the house open once again. I will be to visit soon, we drove past it today in the rain ....

Nicola Cornick said...

I hope you are able to visit Ashdown soon, Minerva, and that you enjoy the trip. There has been rather a lot of rain recently, hasn't there - perfect proof if it were needed of all the weathering the house gets and how the chalk stone wears away.