ASHTON ESTATE & THE ROTHSCHILD FAMILY
GENERAL: The Ashton Estate is, in our view, a fascinating work of both man and nature. The Estate has an interesting socio-economic history comprising a “model settlement” and was created at the turn of the 19th century.
Whilst the function of many Estate buildings has changed, much of the “model settlement” remains physically intact, an unlikely outcome given the dynamics of modern life. The more ancient settlement is represented by a number of Grade II Listed and Grade II* Listed buildings – most of which were designed by renowned architect William Huckvale. Several of the “Edwardian” buildings are also Listed. The Ashton Estate is one of the few remaining “Model Farms” that exists in a form that might be recognisable to its Victorian / Edwardian creators: much of the fabric is intact.
Some of the land on the Ashton Estate is undulating and by virtue of its elevated position enjoys interesting views. Ashton is renowned for its beautiful and ecologically important woodland.For more info see: https://www.ohllimited.co.uk/
Ashton is situated near to the charming market town of Oundle and is within a circa fifteen minute drive from the A1 & A14 trunk roads. It is a short distance from Peterborough, Stamford, Corby and Kettering. Northampton and Cambridge are also within easy driving distance. Commuting to London from Peterborough, Corby or Kettering can be under one hour by rail.
NATHANIAL CHARLES ROTHSCHILD (1877 – 1923) known as “Charles” is well known for his pioneering work in entomology and nature conservation. He coordinated a national survey of wildlife sites ‘worthy of preservation’ in Britain and Ireland. What was new about this approach to preserving ‘wild life’ was that it focused on preserving the habitat rather than just the individual species within it.
At a time when the majority of conservationists were focusing on individual species, Rothschild recognised that places needed protection too. It was not until after Rothschild’s death in 1923 that the creation of the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act made nature conservation part of the law in 1949. Finally Rothschild’s original vision of protecting Britain’s most important places for wildlife was coming to pass.
Charles Rothschild’s first list was, and still is, of immense interest and importance. It was the first survey of its kind and fed into future studies. The list provides a unique portrait of the natural landscape almost a century ago, and provides a fascinating, and in some cases worrying, point of comparison for today.
DAME MIRIAM ROTHSCHILD DBE FRS (1908-2005) was a famous entomologist and nature conservationist aswell as being active in a broad range of civic, social and political causes. During World War II, she joined a group of distinguished scientists working at Bletchley Park on the Enigma decryption project working as a code breaker. She aided refugee Jewish scientists during and after the war and she also worked with several organisations dedicated to helping Jewish children escape from Germany and Austria, often housing some of these refugees in her own home at Ashton Wold which was used by the Red Cross as a convalescent hospital for military personnel.
Some examples of social causes supported by The Hon. Miriam included animal welfare, free milk for children in schools, and gay rights by contributing to the Wolfenden Report which resulted in the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
She was the first woman to serve on the National Trust’s Committee for Conservation and participated in committee work for her father’s Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (1981) and at the Royal Society for Wildlife Trusts (2004).
DR CHARLES DANIEL LANE (b1948) – your current host at The Lady Rothschild Holiday Houses enjoyed a remarkable career as a molecular biologist who along with colleagues Gerard Marbaix and John Gurdon discovered the oocyte exogenous mRNA expression system – a system that not only reveals aspects of the control of gene expression but also provides a “living test tube” for the study of macromolecules: such an whole cell system also shows the merits of a non-reductionist approach, and the possibility of mRNA therapeutics. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Daniel_Lane
Although Dr Lane’s permanent home is the beautiful island of Guernsey his appreciation of the natural world and the many architecturally significant buildings on the Ashton Estate has never waned – which is self evident by the hard work and dedication he and his UK management company OHL Limited do to ensure that the CDL Sector of Ashton Estate and Ashton Wold remains an oasis of natural flora and fauna dotted with magnificent unique buildings.
Dr Lane is an avid art collector and many of the families works of art can be found within the holiday houses (and most of them are for sale!) See our art website https://www.ashtonholidaysfineart.co.uk/