As we visited on Thursday, unfortunately the house was closed, but we still had an informative talk about the history of the house and played a game of croquet.
Cannons Ashby was built using the remains of a medieval priory. The original priory was closed during the dissolution of the monasteries, when Henry VII's inspectors came to access the priory they found that some of Augustine fathers were at the pub and one was on holiday with his wife.
When the Dryden family first bought Cannons Ashby, it was little more than a farm house, but it was soon expanded. In the interior courtyard the Tudor brick of the original building is still visible, but fashion changed during the Jacobean era and the outer walls were plastered.
|inner courtyard, with Tudor brick|
|cedar tree and croquet lawn|
This statue is the commemorate a shepherd boy who died during the civil war. The story goes a group of Roundheads where sheltering in the house when Cavaliers approached, the shepherd blew his flute in warning and was killed during the resulting skirmish. I don't really believe the story, I'm sure I've heard similar tales in other properties.
The formal gardens are very pretty at the moment, and worth having a wander around.
It's such a shame that we didn't get to see the inside of the house, from pictures I've seen on the internet it does look worth a visit. It was really fortunate we saw anything actually, as we forgot our National Trust cards and had to convince the staff that we members so we didn't have to pay entrance fee. Lucky they phoned up head office and they were able to confirm that we were fully paid up.