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Greenwood Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashton, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4797 / 52°28'46"N

Longitude: -0.4129 / 0°24'46"W

OS Eastings: 507882

OS Northings: 288048

OS Grid: TL078880

Mapcode National: GBR FXZ.JDS

Mapcode Global: VHFNJ.SXKY

Entry Name: Greenwood Manor

Listing Date: 17 December 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393616

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507407

Location: Ashton, East Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire, PE8

County: Northamptonshire

District: East Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Ashton

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Oundlew Ashton

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough

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Oundle

Listing Text

ASHTON

1743/0/10081 ASHTON WOLD
17-DEC-09 Greenwood Manor

GV II

Also Known As: Former Gardener's Cottage, Ashton Wold
Greenwood Manor, formerly known as the Head Gardeners Cottage, built c.1900 by William Huckvale for Charles Rothschild.

MATERIALS:
Constructed with coursed, irregular sized, rock-faced limestone blocks, topped with steep gable roofs covered in Collyweston slate with ashlar stone detailing.

PLAN:
The building is of two storeys with a shallow 'U' plan formed by two broad projecting gables to the north on the principal elevation.

EXTERIOR:
There are two paired axial stacks and a single stack on the right hand gable, constructed in coursed and ashlar stone. On the north elevation, the gable to the left (east) has ground floor openings to the coal-store, with planked door and three top lights, and a single window with drip mould to the larder. Above is a deeply recessed mullion window with ashlar stone surround. The right (west) gable has a mullion window stair-light with single light above at the gable apex. Recessed between the two gables, is a ground floor mullion window with sweeping pent roof and dormer above. The south elevation has a central two storey projecting bay window with four-light mullion and transom window and single panes to the sides at ground floor and four-pane mullion window at first floor.The bay is flanked by a single light to the left and two-light mullion to the right. The main entrance lies to the west where a plank door leads into a porch with hall beyond. The rear entrance to the east, which faces the walled garden, has a planked door (complete with door bell inserted intothe door surround ) under a C20 single-storey glazed porch between two outshots with Collyweston slate roofs and parapet copings. In the left outshot is the WC and the coal store is in the right.

Other than the single lights, all mullion and transom windows have chamfered stonework and all windows have leaded lights; door and window openings have ashlar stone surrounds which mimic quoining.

INTERIOR
A corridor runs along the axis of the house at ground and first floor. The kitchen and service end is located to the east, with the washhouse accessed to the right of the WC, the latter retaining its Edwardian toilet furniture. At the west end a quarry-tiled porch and hall lead to the stairs to the left and two principal rooms to the right, with in situ cornices, parquet floor but replaced fireplaces. The dog-leg stairs, with turned balusters, lead to the first floor where the room arrangement, built-in cupboards, fireplaces and doors remain.

HISTORY:
The Ashton Estate, stretching from the River Nene near Oundle in the west to Ashton Wold in the east, has been occupied since Roman times. In the C18 it was a well-known sporting estate, with avenues of chestnut trees planted in a cross as rides, and a number of fox coverts. In the early C19 the estate was owned by William Walcot and was largely farmed by tenants, with Ashton Wold continuing as a sporting ground. However, there is no evidence that it had ever contained a manor house, and when in 1860 it was purchased by Lionel Rothschild the sale particulars describe it as 'a very valuable and important landed estate', with sporting advantages, but no house adapted for the occupation of a gentleman. Both Lionel Rothschild and his son Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), showed little interest in estate, and the only structural work undertaken in the C19 was the building of a hunting lodge at Ashton Wold. However, when Lord Rothschild's second son, Nathaniel Charles (1877-1923) - known as Charles - discovered Ashton by accident whilst on a butterfly-collecting expedition with the vicar of Polebrook, he was so impressed by the rich fauna and flora of Ashton Wold that he persuaded his father to build him a house on the site of the hunting lodge. Lord Rothschild commissioned William Huckvale to design not only a house, but a model farm, an entire complement of estate buildings which included the Steward's house, stables, gardeners' accommodation, a building to house a fire engine, a petrol store, kennels (now derelict) and a dog hospital. Most of the cottages at nearby Ashton were rebuilt to create a model village. The Rothschilds also became the first landowners in the country to provide their tenants with the luxury of both running filtered water and electricity, the latter generated by turbines housed in an old mill below the village on the River Nene , from where water was pumped to a water tower and so to the estate buildings. Each cottage had a bath house and was placed in a large garden planted with a lilac, a laburnum and fruit trees.

High quality design and workmanship were consistent themes throughout the estate, where traditional vernacular building traditions - Collyweston stone slate and thatch roof coverings, steeply pitched roofs, tall chimneys, limestone masonry walling and dressings and mullioned windows were all faithfully referenced.

Formerly the Head Gardener's Cottage, Greenwood Manor was probably designed by William Huckvale (1847-1936)c.1900 and has been little altered since apart from the addition of a small glazed lean-to porch on the east elevation. Little is known about Huckvale who worked mainly for the Rothschilds and therefore had no need to publicise his work in the architectural journals, and was not a member of the RIBA. After setting up his own practice in London he came into contact with Alexander Parks, agent to Lord Rothschild. He designed a number of buildings for the Rothschilds on the Tring Park estate, undertook considerable work at the Rothschild bank in New Court in the City of London, and was the architect for the Royal Mint Refinery. He also carried out work on the Rothschild estate at Aston Clinton. The quality of his work is reflected in the 42 listed buildings he already has to his name, 13 in Tring and 29 on the Ashton Estate.

Charles Rothschild was a renowned naturalist, and became the country's leading expert on fleas. He published around 150 scientific papers and was also interested in other fields, including the cultivation of rare orchids, irises and water lilies. He was a pioneer conservationist, arguing that the whole natural habitat needed to be protected, not just rare species.

Following his death in 1923 and that of his wife Rozsika in 1940, their daughter Miriam (1908-2005) inherited the estate. The house was commandeered for use as a hospital during the Second World War and the gardens and estate suffered much damage and neglect. Like her father, Miriam was deeply involved in conservation, she continued her father's work with fleas to become an international expert in her own right. She was a fellow of the Royal Society, was awarded eight honorary degrees and was appointed DBE for her services to the study of natural history.

SOURCES:
Enclosure map of Lordship of Oundle with Ashton (1810), Northamptonshire Record Office 2858.
Map of estates belonging to William Walcot (1811), Northamptonshire Record Office 3703.
Map of Ashton Estate by Messrs Hayward, Surveyors (1853), Northamptonshire Record Office 1728a.
Catalogue of sale of Ashton Estate (1858), Northamptonshire Record Office ZB 706/24.
Map accompanying Conveyance of Ashton Estate to Lionel Rothschild (1860), Northamptonshire Record Office 5173.
Map of Ashton Wold (c1901), in Ashton Wold House.
Ordnance Survey maps 1886, 1900, 1926.
Rothschild, Miriam, The Rothschild Gardens (1996), 82-107 & 169.
'The Hon. Nathaniel Rothschild', obituary in The Times, 15 October 1923.
'Dame Miriam Rothschild', obituary in The Guardian, 22 January 2005.

REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
Greenwood Manor, formerly the Head Gardeners cottage on the Ashton Wold Estate is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Group Value: It forms an integral part of an important and unusually intact Edwardian model estate, and has group value both with walled garden and with the estate as a whole.
* Architecture: It has special architectural interest due to the high quality of craftsmanship and materials, reflecting the funding of the estate by the Rothschild family. It is an example of Huckvale's skill at estate planning and striking façade treatment.
* Intactness: It is a largely intact example of estate workers housing at Ashton Wold.
* History: It has special historic interest as part of the estate built and developed by members of the internationally important Rothschild family.


This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Reasons for Listing

Greenwood Manor is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Group Value: It forms an integral part of an important and unusually intact Edwardian model estate, and has group value both with walled garden and with the estate as a whole.
* Architecture: It has special architectural interest due to the high quality of craftsmanship and materials, reflecting the funding of the estate by the Rothschild family. It is an example of Huckvale's skill at estate planning and striking façade treatment.
* Intactness: It is an largely intact example of estate workers housing at Ashton Wold.
* History: It has special historic interest as part of the estate built and developed by members of the internationally important Rothschild family.

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