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The Stable Complex

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashton, Northamptonshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4804 / 52°28'49"N

Longitude: -0.4132 / 0°24'47"W

OS Eastings: 507858

OS Northings: 288128

OS Grid: TL078881

Mapcode National: GBR FXZ.JBB

Mapcode Global: VHFNJ.SXDC

Entry Name: The Stable Complex

Listing Date: 17 December 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393625

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507410

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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Listing Text

ASHTON

1743/0/10083 ASHTON WOLD
17-DEC-09 The Stable Complex

GV II

Also Known As:
Newmarket Rooms, St Ledger Rooms, Goodwood Rooms, Gold Cup Rooms,
Ashton Wold
The stable complex at Ashton Wold, built c1900 by William Huckvale for Charles Rothschild, converted into four residential dwellings in the early C21, known as the Newmarket, St Ledger, Goodwood and Gold Cup Rooms.

MATERIALS:
Constructed with coursed, irregular sized, rock-faced limestone blocks, topped with steep gable roofs covered in C21 concrete imitation Collyweston slate with ashlar stone dressings.

PLAN:
A central courtyard with part-cobbled surface and gated entrance to the south-west, is enclosed partly by a complex of buildings and by a wall to the north-west and south-east.

EXTERIOR:
The principal two storey 'U' shaped range to the north-east has a central two storey section with truncated end stacks and coped parapets, flanked by lower wings. A central arched carriage opening with ashlar surround, leading to the polite estate road to the north, is flanked at ground floor by a single light and stable door to the left, reset tripartite mullion window to the right, and part infilled door opening in the wing beyond. Above is a large central gable with a mullioned and transomed window of two lights, flanked by two gablets each with a mullion window. There is a central domed clock turret above. The rear elevation of this range is similarly arranged, the central cranked arch opening has a two leaf boarded entrance door with a projecting gable over with ball finials to the copings, flanked by two gablets. At the centre of the projecting gable is a canted oriel window with stone dressings and decorative frieze above. A pair of four-light mullion windows are on each storey, the ground floor windows have hooded drip-moulds. The side wings have a pair of mullion windows.

Wrapping around the yard to the north-west is the former stables with converted hayloft above. On the ground floor, a central stable door is flanked by tripartite windows and there are two gablets above, that to the left with a part glazed and boarded taking-in door. A stone staircase leads to a door at the first floor on the south elevation with a window to the right. The roof has two axial ventilation turrets. The rear has some C21 inserted windows and renewed window surrounds to original openings.

Continuing to the south-east of the central range is the former garage block, single storey with an attic, aligned north-south, with a C21 front wall of no interest. The rear has two original tripartite mullion and transom windows.

Detached at the south-west boundary is the single-storey with attic former blacksmiths workshop. Attached to the right is a single-storey outshot with pent roof. The fa├žade wall to the left and central door is a C21 construct; a tripartite mullion window is to the right. The roof has a small dormer and central ventilation turret; the west end stack is truncated. The rear has inserted C21 openings.

All stacks are truncated. Other than the single lights, all mullion and transom windows have chamfered stonework. The leaded-lights windows in the central and western range are original, but there are C21 double glazed units elsewhere. All door and window openings have ashlar stone surrounds which mimic quoining.

INTERIOR
The former stable to the left of the carriage entrance retains plank stall divisions, incorporating wavy metal rod panels, and carved wooden posts. Curved niches against the south at ground level contain taps. At first floor, the cast-iron ribs remain exposed. To the right of the carriage entrance, the gun room retains some panelling and the base of the working clock mechanism, manufactured in Leeds in 1902, the time-piece remaining in the attic space above the first floor flat. The king-post roof structure of the former garage block is exposed in the inserted mezzanine space.

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 the 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. In 1900, 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.

The former stables, now subdivided into four units known as the Newmarket Rooms, the St Ledger Rooms, the Goodwood Rooms and the Gold Cup Rooms, were designed by William Huckvale (1847-1936) in c1900. The conversion into dwellings in the early C21 entailed the recovering of the roofs with concrete tiles imitating Collyweston slate, truncation of the stacks, part-demolition of the garage block (north-south range of the St Ledger Rooms) and the infilling of open fronted elements on both the garage and the former Blacksmiths (Newmarket Room). The historic plan-form, fixtures and fittings were removed in both those units and the windows are C21 double-glazed units. The stables (Gold Cup Rooms) retained some of the stall divisions and other features on the ground floor with bedroom and bathroom facilities inserted into the open hayloft above. The first floor flat of the more architectural east-west range (possibly once the groom's lodging) was retained and renamed the Goodwood Rooms, although the accommodation was remodelled. On the ground floor, the former gun room is incorporated into the St Ledger residence.

Charles Rothschild was a renowned naturalist, and became the leading expert on fleas in the country. 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.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The stable complex at Ashton Wold is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: It has special architectural interest due to the high quality of craftsmanship and materials, reflecting the funding of the estate by the Rothschild bank. It is an example of Huckvale's skill at estate planning and striking elevational treatment.
* Intactness: The loss of historic fabric, plan-form, fixtures and fittings is countered by the accomplished elevational design and use of materials.
* History: It has special historic interest as part of the estate built and developed by members of the internationally important Rothschild family.
* Group Value: It is an important building in an unusually intact Edwardian model estate, and has considerable group value with the estate as a whole.

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

Reasons for Listing

The stable complex at Ashton Wold is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: It has special architectural interest due to the high quality of craftsmanship and materials, reflecting the funding of the estate by the Rothschild bank. It is an example of Huckvale's skill at estate planning and striking elevational treatment.
* Intactness: The loss of historic fabric, plan-form, fixtures and fittings is countered by the accomplished elevational design and use of materials.
* History: It has special historic interest as part of the estate built and developed by members of the internationally important Rothschild family.
* Group Value: It is an important building in an unusually intact Edwardian model estate, and has considerable group value with the estate as a whole.

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