Ashburnham Place has a colourful and fascinating history that weaves back through some of the world changing historical events of the last eight centuries. Kings and queens, wars and intrigue, wealth and poverty have all played their part. The Ashburnham family line can be reliably traced back to Reginald ‘de Esburneham’ who in 1194 gave land to the monks of Battle Abbey and of Robertsbridge.
The Ashburnham family can be found fighting in the battles of Agincourt and Boroughbridge as well as providing 679 Ashburnham oaks to assist with the royalworks at Dover and Pevensey Castles. The Ashburnham family developed close relationships with royalty, most notably between John Ashburnham, also known as John the Cavalier, of 1603 - 1671 and the ill-fated Charles I. John, who served as the King’s Groom of the Bedchamber, reportedly organised the King’s flight across the country to the Isle of Wight in an attempt to escape the Parliamentarian forces. While the King met a grisly death the Ashburnham estate was brought to near ruin by Parliamentarian attacks. The heyday of Ashburnham Place was between 1850 - 1900 at which point the house was full of rich furnishings, art treasures and antiques together with an exceptional literary collection.