Ashwell Bury





Document typed by Jackie Emburyfrom Miss Hislop's handwritten green book owned by Janet Chennells


Ashwell Bury cannot lay claim to be of great age.  It was built about 1855 by Edward K Fordham who in 1855 married Miss Anna Snow and built the Bury of white Arlsey Brick.  He left the Bury and the Brewery to the late Wolverley Fordham and left land to his other son Edward Snow Fordham, who in 1910 sold his farms to his brother Wolverley.  Mrs Wolverley Fordham acquired the remaining part of the E.S. Fordham’s estate in 1927 and so reconstructed an estate that can be traced back to Sir John (Lutyens) Nernuyt in 1340.  Westbury Nernuyt Manor House was situated opposite the Bear Farm.

In 1918 Sir Edwin Lutyens was asked to reconstruct the Bury.  His scheme was put in hand in 1923.  “The old porch and bows were removed, the number of chimneys reduced and replaced by the existing plain brick stone-capped shafts.

The long drawing-room, much desired by Mrs Fordham was made by extending the old drawing-room to double its length as a single story projection with a flat roof, its angles topped by lead urns.

The former staircase and the pantry beyond were removed to form the entrance hall leading to a new staircase lit by an octagonal lantern.

The Bury Garden was designed by the famous landscape gardener Miss G Jekyll.  It was a deep foliage border along the entrance front.  Along the west side is a ballustraded terrace with a lawn stretching west between a clipped yew hedge with recesses containing Lilium Testaceum and on the right a down sloping (lawn) bank with prostrate cypress, juniper, cotoneaster and other shrubs.

A broad grass vista goes north intersected by one going east and west, their crossing ringed by four segments of clipped lonicera, outside of which are beds of colourful plants.  The whole is enclosed by a raised grass walk, with remains of the ancient homestead moat of the Saxon Bury.


This page was added on 29/07/2011.

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