Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Manor’s history is traced around the globe
9:18am Friday 1st April 2011 in Down Memory Lane
An article in the Wiltshire Times last year asking for information on the history of Rood Ashton Manor led to a meeting thousands of miles away between a historian working on a book which features the house and its present owner.
Cheryl Nicol is a descendant of the Long family, who lived at the house for generations. After seeing the article about her search Beverley Booty, who now owns Rood Ashton House, as it is called today, got in touch and offered to meet Mrs Nicol at Christmas, while she was visiting family in Melbourne.
She was able to share memories, pictures and historical documents with Mrs Nicol, neé Long, whose book on the family and their homes has since been published.
It looks at the role the Longs played throughout the turbulent reigns of the Tudor and Stuart monarchies and traces the descent of their manors, including South Wraxall and Rood Ashton, tracing the family and the circumstances leading to the breakup of all the estates and, ultimately, their loss of power and influence.
The family feature in the first of a forthcoming six-part BBC2 series presented by Dan Cruickshank, called Hidden Houses.
The present Viscount Long’s seven-times-great-grandfather, Edward Long of Monkton, bought Rood Ashtom Manor in 1597 from William Button. In 1808 his great-grandfather Richard Godolphin Long commissioned architect Jeffry Wyatt to build a new larger house on the site, replacing the old mansion.
Not long after inheriting his father’s estates in 1835, his son Walter began rebuilding work at Rood Ashton, commissioning architect Thomas Hopper to make improvements, with some panelling and other material being brought from another of their properties, Whaddon House, after being rescued from a fire there the previous year.
Rood Ashton has played host to many distinguished visitors, including future Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Edward VIII when Prince of Wales.
Among the documents Mrs Booty shared with Mrs Nicol was a sketch of Rood Ashton House as it appeared in the Illustrated London News in 1889 in an article about a visit by Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter.