Ashdown Park Hotel
The ancient forest of Ashdown, a forest rich in human and natural history which has inspired authors including A.A. Milne and Arthur Conan Doyle, serves as the ideal setting for the Victorian Hotel of Ashdown Park. Set in 186 acres of rolling park land, the grade II listed country house is every bit as captivating and romantic as the forest itself. The architecture and woodland grounds provide flashes of the celebrated Victorian age and the old world service enjoyed by its high society.
History of Ashdown Park
Built in 1867 by Thomas Charles Thompson, the house is new by English standards but has so much charm and character, it could easily be taken straight from the set of a decadent period drama. Thomas spent considerable time working in London, so Ashdown provided him with a sanctuary to escape to. Although a devout protestant himself, Thomas wanted to see greater emancipation amongst sectors of the population still experiencing suffrage including women and Catholics who were still playing second fiddle in most walks of life to Protestants. His wife Marianne, herself the daughter of a Pastor was a driving force behind Thomas’ convictions and the two of them can be considered to have been amongst those carrying the baton from Disraeli’s reform act of 1867 to the Representation of the People Act of 1918 when women first gained the vote. Read More
Interesting facts about Ashdown Park
1. Ashdown Forest provided the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s books Winnie the Pooh. He used his son Christopher Robin as the basis of the main character and his son’s toys for the other characters. A.A. Milne was a pacifist but nonetheless volunteered to serve in WWI. He ended up at the Battle of the Somme where the scale of the killing left him with an overly nostalgic view of childhood. Upon returning, the forest provided him with the peace of mind he needed to create his stories. Read More