Sotheby’s to Hold a Sale of the Contents of One of England’s Most Romantic Country Houses


LONDON.- Ashdown House – an idyllic 17th-century Dutch-style country house – carries a tragic history of love, loss and steadfast loyalty and has a unique, ethereal charm. Situated in a valley within the rolling Berkshire downs, Ashdown was built in the early 1660s by one of history’s most patient and faithful lovers, William, first Earl of Craven, for the object of his adoration – Elizabeth of Bohemia, The Winter Queen. The sister of King Charles I and a celebrated romantic heroine of the Stuart period, Elizabeth captured the hearts of many, but it was Lord Craven who was her most devoted servant, and who spent much of his life attempting to secure her happiness and protection. It is thought that Craven built Ashdown House for his beloved Elizabeth after hearing of her ‘longing to live in quiet’, Ashdown – built on the site of a medieval deer park – would have been a most fitting refuge for the Queen who had spent many years living in forced exile at he