Friday, 1 November 2013

St Hubert's Day

It's a busy week for anniversaries at Ashdown House. On Sunday it is St Hubert's Day. Hubert was born in about 656AD and was the first Bishop of Liege. He is the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. Interesting mix! He features in full bishop's regalia in the picture to the left which was taken in the Craven Chapel at Ashbury Church.

During the Victorian and Edwardian period, Ashdown House had its own chapel and private choir (which is another, fascinating story). The chapel was located in Ashdown village and was dedicated to St Hubert as the most appropriate saint for a hunting lodge. Choosing St Hubert as Ashdown's patron saint also underlined the importance that the 3rd Earl of Craven and his Countess placed on hunting, which was one of their great passions. They lived permanently at Ashdown and kept a pack of hounds in the kennels there.

The chapel was demolished in the early 20th century and rather curiously was divided into two parts which became the church halls in two local villages. Half of the chapel is pictured to the right!

The Craven Chapel in Ashbury Parish Church  is also dedicated to St Hubert. It contains a beautiful stained glass window of a hunting scene, pictured left, as well as various memorials associated with the Craven family.

Next week here on the blog we are also celebrating Guy Fawkes Night via The Winter Queen and her links to the gunpowder plot. Check back on the 5th for the whole story!

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