Ascott is a half timbered house built in the late 1800s but incorporates an earlier farmhouse building from the early 1600s. It was purchased in 1876 by Baron Mayer de Rothschild, and Leopold de Rothschild hired architect George Devey the following year to change it and enlarge it. Further interior changes were done by Anthony de Rothschild who inherited it in 1937. Tour of the House
Ascott is a paradise for lovers of English and French furniture and Oriental works of art with over 400 pieces. Important paintings from Anthony Rothschild’s collections are also a highlight in the house.
From Ascott there are views of the Chilterns across the Vale of Aylesbury. Thirty acres of gardens contain both formal and natural areas. Specimen trees and shrubs, grass terraces, an evergreen sundial, and a large marble fountain are highlights. Also in the garden are an herbaceous walk, lily pond, sunken garden and Dutch garden.
The house, 261 acres of grounds and the collections in the house were given to the National Trust in 1949 by the owner Anthony de Rothschild.
Hall: English furniture includes mahogany chairs covered in needlework, marble-topped console tables, walnut chairs with needlework seats, mid 18th century mahogany serpentine chest of drawers and a side table of ‘Irish Chippendale’. Also in the room is a Chinese screen, French inlaid desk and English paintings.
Dining Room: paintings by Dutch 17th century masters; c 1755 mahogany side table; Ming fish bowl.
Lobby: two Louis XVI harewood cabinets; Italian marquetry commode; Louis XVI tulipwood secretaire; mahogany side table with lion paw feet; paintings.
Common Room: display of three colour ware from Ming dynasty; Louis XV/XVI commode; Chinese porcelain vases and urns; kingwood and rosewood library tables; paintings.
Drawing Room: Louis XV black lacquer writing table decorated in colours and gold; Ming dynasty porcelain; Dutch walnut marquetry cabinet with Chinese porcelain; paintings.
Library: English furniture includes mahogany side table, tables with oval tops; Queen Anne needlework hangings; Chinese ceramics.
Library Passage: early Chinese dynasty wares; Louis XIV marquetry commode.
Wing, 2 miles south-west of Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire
Tel. 0 1296 688 242
Open: April-May, Aug-mid Sep, Tue-Sun, 2-6pm; June-July, Tue-Thu, 2-6pm; also open BH Mon
National Trust property; parking
Web: Ascott Estate
Photos © by Barbara Ballard except gardens by Nick Mcneill courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland
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