Site of the Week - Castle Ashby

26.08.2016 | category: General
© Northamptonshire Gardens Trust
© Northamptonshire Gardens Trust

Castle Ashby is the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton. This treasure nestled in the heart of Northamptonshire, embraces all of the characteristic features of a Brownian landscape.

Castle Ashby boasts formal gardens from which the visitor can enjoy the wonderful vistas created by Capability Brown when he shaped the parklands in the 1760s. Constructing a haha, a carriage drive, a circuit walk and bridges he opened up stunning vistas of the Temple Menagerie and the newly excavated Park Lake, carefully selecting, preserving and planting trees to enhance the landscape.

Castle Ashby is particularly noted for its beautiful collection of veteran trees including statement cedars, magnificent chestnuts and a fascinating grove of bundled limes. (Brown is thought to have tied bundles of young trees together before planting them, either to speed up the planting process or to make them more viable). Not only is the parkland at Castle Ashby stunningly beautiful, it also offers a richness of biodiversity and the landscape makes a vital contribution in helping nature to better withstand future pressures such as climate change.

An exhibition of the history of the garden, including Capability Brown’s work, is displayed in the Birmingham Glass House at Castle Ashby. To further mark the celebration of the 300 year anniversary of his birth, dedicated display beds have been planted featuring the dates he started and completed his work at Castle Ashby.

Today Castle Ashby is a key tourist attraction open 365 days a year, with the gardens offering attractions for all ages. School parties are welcomed and educational activities are provided to include a nature trail. There are extensive amenities for visitors, including excellent facilities for individuals with disabilities, particularly wheelchair users.

Get a bird's eye view of the stunning landscape at Castle Ashby from the aerial film created by www.northamptonshiregardenstrust.org for the Capability Brown Festival 2016.

About the Author: Carol Fitzgerald, Northamptonshire Gardens Trust at Castle Ashby

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