Attraction in Leighton Buzzard
A palace like cottage, the most luxurious and lovely thing I ever saw. This was how Gladstone's daughter, Mary, described Ascott after a visit in the 1880s. In 1873 Ascott, together with 90 acres of land, was bought by Baron Mayer de Rothschild whose seat was at Mentmore, three miles away. The following year Leopold de Rothschild took over Ascott as a hunting box. During the following years the house was transformed and enlarged to form a family home.
The nucleus of the remarkable collection of works of art at Ascott, more particularly the French furniture and most of the pictures, was inherited in the late 19th century by Leopold de Rothschild from his father, Baron Lionel de Rothschild.
The collection was further enhanced by Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) who added English furniture, paintings and a remarkable collection of over 400 pieces of Chinese ceramics. The three colour wares central to the collection make it amongst the foremost in the world.
From 1941-1947 a group of Chelsea Pensioners lived at Ascott after the Royal Hospital, Chelsea was bombed. In 1949 the Ascott Collection, together with the House, its grounds of 261 acres and an endowment were given to the National Trust by Anthony de Rothschild.Click here to buy English Heritage membership and enjoy free entry to all English Heritage Properties
Admission Price: House & Gardens
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