Canons Ashby Update

Our Local National Trust Property

Canons Ashby was the home of the Dryden family who owned property in Woodford. Sir Henry Dryden set up the village school – as an architect, he designed the building, which now makes up the Dryden Hall, himself. Nearby “School House” was given by Dryden as accommodation for the schoolmaster’s house. By 1879 the school master could report 114 children enrolled with a third of children having a better than 90% attendance record.

Less than five miles from Woodford you can visit the home of the Drydens and enjoy its lovely gardens.

Wildflowers and Historic Carpets

Although we are still living in strange times, the outdoor spaces at Canons Ashby are really springing into life. The trees are beginning to look green again and the garden is covered with flowers.

For the last few years the garden team at Canons Ashby have been trying to encourage a wide diversity of wildflowers, to support a healthy habitat for nature in our green spaces. At this time of year it’s great to watch the wildflowers growing in the paddock or under the fruit trees in the lower garden. Recently there have been Snake’s-head fritillaries, cowslips, primroses, celandines and more, providing insects with much needed early pollen and nectar.

wildflowers at Canons AshbyThe wildflowers will really shoot up over May and June, and the Trust is looking forward to visitors being able to walk through the paddock as it becomes a wildflower meadow. When the meadow is cut in summer, the garden team will be able to use some of the seeds to encourage more wildflowers for next year.

At the beginning of the year the Canons Ashby team shared a video about the creation of our staircase carpet. It’s much more complicated than popping down to the retail park, and more interesting than it sounds! The historic loom that was featured in this video has now been retired after a very long working life. You can see the video on the Trust’s website

To find out about the work of the Trust, the latest projects, what is open (changes will be in line with government guidelines) or to book tickets please go on our website

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