Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll
stevie_carroll

A Visit to Canons Ashby Part One

Inspired by a recent edition of Countryfile, last Friday I travelled up to Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire. The entrance for visitors these days is through the east-facing Pebble Court, possibly the most interesting architecturally, though the least striking from a distance, and not at all easy to photograph in its entirity:


Canons Ashby 190413 (7)


The house is most strongly associated with Puritans, although there are some fine portraits of Cavalier-type chaps in the dining room, and the wood theme there is continued up all the main staircases:
Canons Ashby 190413 (21) Canons Ashby 190413 (22)


The house is rich with tapestries (although some were damaged by previous inhabitants either to make space for doors to open through them, or by allegedly using them as dog beds), and also heraldry:
Canons Ashby 190413 (24) Canons Ashby 190413 (25)


And at times it was difficult to decide whether to focus on the furniture or the walls:
Canons Ashby 190413 (27) Canons Ashby 190413 (28)


Sir Henry Dryden (1818-1899) was known as 'the Antiquary', although sadly he missed out on some of the house's greatest treasures, since they'd been decorated over by former owners. For instance this Elizabethan mural and 18th Century graffiti were hidden by panelling in his time:
Canons Ashby 190413 (26) Canons Ashby 190413 (31)


Here's another rather splendid bed, which I got to photograph in all its glory thanks to a National Trust volunteer who kindly moved the curtain from the window long enough for me to get the best possible light. The cover is a Chinese design for the Western market, and so has many symbolic pairs for a marriage/honeymoon bed but also far more extra decoration than would have been used for the home market:
Canons Ashby 190413 (36) Canons Ashby 190413 (34)


Another bed, another tapestry and a rather fine dress: all displayed in Alice's Room (she was was Henry the Antiquary's daughter, and a keen photographer):
Canons Ashby 190413 (49) Canons Ashby 190413 (47)

Canons Ashby 190413 (48)


Two more beds: one a day bed, the other a servant's bed:
Canons Ashby 190413 (52) Canons Ashby 190413 (53)


Of course no tour of the house is complete without trying to show off the rather odd heradic crests and arms uncovered by the National Trust under layers of cream paint in what had become the servants' dining hall. Not that the light allowed me to do justice to them on this occasion:
Canons Ashby 190413 (59) Canons Ashby 190413 (60)

Canons Ashby 190413 (62) Canons Ashby 190413 (67)


And from the same room, I couldn't resist this sewing machine, or this cupboard of interesting items:
Canons Ashby 190413 (66) Canons Ashby 190413 (64)


Later, I'll show off the outside some more, and also a rather odd-shaped church.
Tags: architectural heritage, for reference, out and about, photos, truth stranger than fiction
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