Ashdown House (also known as Ashdown Park) is a 17th-century country house in the civil parish of Ashbury in the English county of Oxfordshire. Until 1974 the house was in the county of Berkshire, and the nearby village of Lambourn remains in that county.
Ashdown House is associated with the "Winter Queen" Elizabeth of Bohemia, the older sister of Charles I. Along with his house at Hamstead Marshall, it is said that William, the first Earl of Craven built Ashdown for her, but she died in 1662 before construction began.
Although the architect is uncertain, it is thought that Craven commissioned Captain William Winde to build the Dutch-style mansion as a hunting lodge and refuge from the plague. The house features 8,000 square feet (740 m2) of living space, a large central staircase, reception rooms, interlinking drawing and sitting rooms, a kitchen, a dining room and eight bedrooms. The property includes two lodges, three cottages and a hundred acres of land. The house is isolated, and the view from the roof includes park-like grounds and gardens, and beyond, woods and pastures. Nearby is a large group of sarsen stones and Alfred's Castle, an Iron Age hill fort.
At least one of the woods of Ashdown Park predates the house. Glastonbury Abbey held the manor of Ashbury until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. 415 acres (168 ha). The former deer park is now the Upper Wood of Ashdown Park. Ashdown Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.A deer park was established for the Abbey in the south of the parish. It is bounded by an ancient embankment enclosing a rounded area characteristic of Medieval deer parks. The embankment would have been topped by a park pale, probably of cleft oak stakes. The park may equate to the Aysshen Wood that a terrier of the parish in 1519 recorded as covering
Although a few alterations were made to the house, the building remained largely as-built until it was requisitioned for use by the army during World War II. The occupation left it in a near derelict state.The National Trust has owned Ashdown House since 1956 when it was donated to the trust by Cornelia, Countess of Craven (wife of William Craven, 4th Earl of Craven). The house is tenanted, and has been renovated by recent lease holders. In 2010 Pete Townshend bought a 41-year lease on the property and in 2011 a structural renovation was begun. Public access is restricted to the stairs and roof, with broad views of Berkshire Downs. There is also public access to the neighbouring Ashdown Woods. Admission to the house is by guided tour on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to October.
Barkham is a village and civil parish in the borough of Wokingham in Berkshire, England, located around 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the town of Wokingham.
Arborfield is a village on the A327 road in Berkshire about 4.5 miles (7 km) south-east of Reading, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Wokingham. It lies in the civil parish of Arborfield and Newland in the Borough of Wokingham, about 0.6 miles (1 km) west of its sister village of Arborfield Cross and the two villages have become collectively known as Arborfield, with no signs marking their boundary.
Aldworth is a mostly cultivated village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire, close to the boundary with Oxfordshire, in a rural area between Reading, Newbury and Streatley. It includes the hamlet of Westridge Green. Aldworth is on the high ground of the Berkshire Downs, just off the B4009 road between Newbury and Streatley. The north of it is crossed by The Ridgeway, a pre-Roman Britain 87-mile footpath. The parish church has large medieval figures in white stone, seemingly life-size, although some of the knights have an unlikely height of over seven feet. The Battle of Ashdown, where King Alfred defeated the Danes in January AD 871, is said by some to have occurred near The Ridgeway and Lowbury Hill.
Pangbourne is a large village and civil parish on the River Thames in the English county of Berkshire. Pangbourne has its own shops, schools, a railway station on the Great Western Line and a parish hall. Outside its grouped developed area is an independent school, Pangbourne College.
Uffington is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Faringdon and 6 miles (10 km) west of Wantage. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 783.
Midgham is a village and civil parish occupying slopes and the alluvial plain on the north side of the Kennet. It is centred 6 miles (10 km) east of Newbury, Berkshire and 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Thatcham. The north of the parish is 4.5 miles (7 km) south of the M4 motorway. Midgham Lock is on the Kennet and Avon canal which in summer months draws much of the water from the valley. It has smaller watercourses alongside. Its elevations range from 60 to 121 metres above sea level. Midgham Wood covers most of the north-west and Channel Wood covers most of the north-east eighth of the parish. The vast majority of the other green space is cultivated land, pasture or hay meadows. The lowland area of lakes, river and canal is greater than that covered by roads across the whole parish, as at the 2005 Office for National Statistics survey.
Finchampstead is a village and civil parish in the Wokingham Borough in the shire of Royal Berkshire, England. Its northern extremity is 2 miles (3 km) south of Wokingham, 5 miles (8 km) west of Bracknell, 8 miles (13 km) south-east of Reading, and 33 miles (53 km) west of Central London. It is an affluent area, with the village ranking as Britain's 31st wealthiest. It has a high standard of living and is rated as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.
Sulhamstead is a village and civil parish in West Berkshire, England. It occupies an approximate rectangle of land south of the (Old) Bath Road (A4) between Reading, its nearest town and Thatcham. It has several small clusters of homes and woodland covering about a fifth of the land, in the centre and north beside which is Thames Valley Police's main Training Centre at Sulhamstead House. Its main amenities are its Church of England parish church and a shop and visitor centre by the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Brimpton is a mostly rural village and civil parish in West Berkshire, England. The village occupies a few square miles of land between the Kennet and Avon Canal, a long tributary the Enborne which is used as part of the Hampshire boundary and the winding slopes of an escarpment in the far south-east, beyond the Enborne which is almost contiguous with the larger settlement of Baughurst a wood-buffered part of Tadley post town. This high common field contains five round barrows from the period of the Heptarchy in Anglo Saxon England.
Ashbury is a village and large civil parish at the upper end (west) of the Vale of White Horse. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The village is centred 7 miles (11 km) east of Swindon in neighbouring Wiltshire. The parish includes the hamlets of Idstone and Kingstone Winslow. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 506.
Longcot is a village and civil parish in the Vale of White Horse District. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The village is about 3 miles (5 km) south of Faringdon and about 2.5 miles (4 km) northeast of Shrivenham. The A420 road between Swindon and Oxford passes through the parish 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the village. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 617.
East Lockinge is a village in Lockinge civil parish, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Wantage. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 local authority boundary changes transferred the Vale of White Horse to Oxfordshire. The village is included within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Shottesbrooke is a village and civil parish administered by the unitary authority of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the English county of Berkshire. The village is mostly rural: 88% covered by agriculture or woodland and had a population of 141 at the 2011 census.
Watchfield is a village and civil parish in the Vale of White Horse in on the edge of southwest Oxfordshire, southern England, about 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Highworth in neighbouring Wiltshire. Watchfield is about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the village of Shrivenham. Both villages used to be on the main road between Oxford and Swindon, which is now the A420 road. The Vale of White Horse was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.
Moulsford is a village and civil parish and former manor in South Oxfordshire. Before 1974 it was in the county of Berkshire, in Wallingford Rural District, but following the Berkshire boundary changes of that year it became a part of Oxfordshire, in the district of South Oxfordshire. Moulsford is on the A329, by the River Thames, just north of Streatley and south of Wallingford. The west of the parish is taken up by the foothills of the Berkshire Downs, including the Moulsford Downs, Moulsford Bottom and Kingstanding Hill which is traditionally associated with King Alfred and the Battle of Ashdown. Like many other villages in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire it has been used for the filming of Midsomer Murders.
Coscote is a hamlet in the civil parish of East Hagbourne, in the Berkshire Downs 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Didcot. The hamlet was also previously referred to as Cokelscote. Coscote is now in Oxfordshire, and in 1974 was transferred from Berkshire. Currently, the Church of England church St Andrew's, Hagbourne claims the hamlet as one of its parish communities.
Buscot is a small English village and medium-sized civil parish on the River Thames about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-east of Lechlade. Buscot was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire.
Garford is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Abingdon. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. The parish is bounded by the River Ock to the north, by two tributaries of the Ock to the south, and by field boundaries and the road between Kingston Bagpuize and West Hanney to the west. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 229.
Eaton Hastings is a village and civil parish beside the River Thames about two-and-a-half miles (4 km) north-west of Faringdon. It was in Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred it to Oxfordshire. Eaton Hastings was once much larger than it is today, when it is regarded as a deserted medieval village. The 2001 Census gave the parish population as 81.
Idstone is a hamlet in the civil parish of Ashbury in the Vale of White Horse. Idstone was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the Vale of White Horse to Oxfordshire. Idstone is about 6 miles (10 km) east of Swindon in neighbouring Wiltshire.