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Ashburnham Place History

History and Present Day

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.

The Fernery and The Library

Ashburnham Place Drawing room
Ashburnham Place library

The house had 9 main state rooms, a dairy, bakehouse, brewhouse, laundry, kitchens, 38 bedrooms, 52 chimneys and 365 windows! The grounds and gardens were maintained by a team 37 gardeners. The Ashburnham family line finally came to an end in 1953 with the death of Lady Catherine filling the 45th and last crypt space prepared over three hundred years earlier. The house and its Capability Brown designed grounds and gardens then passed to a young clergyman, John Bickersteth. Seven years later he gifted the house and surrounding parkland to the Ashburnham Christian Trust.

Over the last 50 years many people have found it to be a haven of peace, a place of blessing and an oasis in the busyness of life. Today the Trust continues to be committed to extending this incredible gift to people from all walks of life. We are developing ways in which we can provide learning and training that enable others to have positive and life-giving impact throughout society. Our desire is that people will come to Ashburnham Place and find exceptional levels of welcome, refuge, challenge, inspiration, learning and peace. While in The Orangery Tea Room we pray that you find rest, nourishment and a mighty fine cuppa!

Ashburnham place now
Visit the Orangery Tea Room
Visit the Orangery Tea Room
<p>The Orangery Tea Room is open for Cream Teas and delicious cakes</p>

The Orangery Tea Room is open for Cream Teas and delicious cakes

<p>Stay at Ashburnham Place in our en-suite accommodation</p>

Stay at Ashburnham Place in our en-suite accommodation

<p>Experience and discover Ashburnham Place. Watch the videos.</p>

Experience and discover Ashburnham Place. Watch the videos.

<p>A look at the history of Ashburnham Place</p>

A look at the history of Ashburnham Place

What people say
What people say

Our church weekend was the best we have had for years. The location, the facilities and the staff were outstanding. We can't wait to come back next year.