An afternoon at Canons Ashby

I first visited Canons Ashby about twenty years ago so when the chance came to visit again I thought it was probably about time that I did.  I could not remember much about the house/garden, except I did have an idea that there was some topiary.

I was right, there is indeed topiary and it provides a good view point up to the house.
and again from the other angle:
it takes the eye well down from the house, across the gardens and out into the borrowed landscape.
These large yew pillars make a good frame for the bench and the church behind.  The church, St Mary's, is the remains of the priory from which the house takes its name.  It is the only part of the priory left and it is not a large church.  It is, however, a rare private church as it belongs to the Dryden family who have owned the house since the sixteenth century.  The property is now owned by the National Trust but the family still live in part of the house.
There was a quick digression into the church, the painting around this window is rather fine.

Back to the gardens:  the gardens are not particularly large, but they are beautifully maintained.
The vegetable borders are waiting to be filled.
There is also a rather nice, not too fancy but very effective, knot garden.  I always take time to look at knot gardens as I seek inspiration on how to improve mine.
I found this rather handsome lion hiding in a corner. His name is not Baby, I know this as no one puts Baby in the corner (sorry ........not sorry).
They like lions, these gates are very smart.
The lawn at the side of the house is dominated by these huge yew shapes and the statue of a shepherd. The story is that this shepherd was murdered by Royalist soldiers in the Civil War for keeping watch on behalf of some Parliamentary soldiers.  The family supported the Parliamentary cause and the statue is to remember the shepherd's loyalty.
It is not the largest National Trust garden you can visit, but it is interesting.   A garden that is worth seeing this time of year is one that is definitely worth revisiting soon.   I hope I will visit again before another twenty years passes by.


  1. Another great National Trust's garden, lovely, I think England is one large garden......

    1. We are very lucky - so many gardens to enjoy

  2. The yews are amazing, I hope you got inspiration for your knot garden, I always get inspired when visiting gardens!

    1. Yes definitely- there's always something to make me think

  3. stayed in the Landmark Trust property recently. Top two floors of the tower with view down axis of garden. Amazing to wake up to that view and comfortable accommodation too.

  4. Nice tour. I always enjoy visiting your blog - interesting. JC


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