MOLA Built Heritage team tour Canons Ashby (c) MOLA

Canons Ashby House: Recording a National Trust gem in Northamptonshire

Amir Bassir

Over the coming weeks we will be carrying out a thorough photographic, drawn and written survey of Canons Ashby House, a National Trust property in Northamptonshire. Historic Buildings Officer Amir Bassir tells us more about the project...

Described by the architect J. A. Gotch as one of the most attractive houses in the county, Canons Ashby has been little modernised and preserves much of its 18th century appearance and atmosphere. The development of the house in many ways reflects the changing fortunes and character of the Dryden family who inherited a large farm which, over several generations, was expanded upon to create something larger than a manor house but less than a palace.

The piecemeal development of the building has resulted in a collage of architectural puzzles and anomalies with hidden spaces, blocked stairs, and varying floor and ceiling levels sometimes within one room.

Our investigations at Canons Ashby aim to untangle and clarify some of the many questions about the development of the house and the relationship between its architectural form and the changing fortunes of its inhabitants. 

The house is served by a passionate and enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers. In addition to historic building recording, we will also be hosting several workshops for the volunteers, including graffiti and ritual markings and spatial analysis.

As part of this work the National Trust have initiated a social media call out for visitor photographs in order to create a crowd sourced image archive which will be complemented by ourworkshops discussing the images and analysing visitors’ impressions and approach to the house.

Find out more about the project and how to get involved with the call out on the Canons Ashby website, follow the progress and contribute your images on Twitter with #CArevealed and keep an eye on our blog for Canons Ashby news and upcoming events!

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