Trip Report – Four Ashes Hall (June 2014)

The society enjoyed a most enjoyable trip to Four Ashes Hall in June.

Four Ashes Hall

The property has been in the same family since it was built in 1660 and remains very much a family home.  Sebastian had had to clear his toys up from the the playroom for historic toys and childrens’ clothes to be put out on display and we were shown round by the current owners, Nikola and Stephen, ably assisted by her mother and his father and  Daniel, the head gardener, conducted the garden tours.

We felt very at home with the Amphlett sign of the camel hugely in evidence in china, silver and even in the a stained glass window.  It was a Joseph Amphlett who used funds from the East India Company to build the really magnificent Georgian stable block which is undergoing restoration.  The house has had periods of addition and alteration but this never seemed to involve clearing out.  The current owners found wardrobes stuffed with Georgian costumes, Boer War full uniforms and the contents of the travelling medicine chests with lots of hair tonic!

There was huge investment in the gardens with great tree walks, spring fed pools leading to a Cold Bath House, magnificent walled gardens and topiary gardens but it, like the house suffered a period of decline with almost no investment for 75 years from the 1920s.  It was particularly interesting to see how the current owners are bringing the house and gardens back to life.  Several people in our group said they would love to go back in a couple of years to see how things have continued to evolve.

The photos below record what was a really fascinating and enormously enjoyable trip.

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