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Ascott estate, Buckinghamshire

In 1873 Lionel de Rothschild bought a farm at Ascott in Buckinghamshire for his son Leopold who decided to turn it into a fashionable country house to entertain his guests.  George Devey, who had worked on other Rothschild projects, drew up plans for an Old English or Jacobean style house.  Taking the original farmhouse as the core, he created an informal, sinuous range of gables, chimneys and half-timbering.  A keen gardener, Leopold took the advice of the horticulturalist Sir Harry Veitch, and planted some remarkable trees and shrubs chosen for their magnificent autumn colours.  Leopold also planted an evergreen sundial in box and Irish yew.

Leopold’s hospitality and generosity were legendary, and Ascott provided the perfect rural retreat at which to entertain with comfort and refinement without ostentation or extravagance.  Leopold’s wife, Marie Perugia also came to love the house, often extending her stay there in the hunting season after Leopold had gone back to London.  The attractions of Ascott for hunting enthusiasts were added to by the other amusements Leopold offered them: golf, lawn tennis, croquet and bridge were among the favourites. On his death in 1917, the house passed to his son Anthony who made numerous alterations, updating the plumbing and heating systems, enlarging some windows and adding others, and constructing special recesses and vitrines to house his collections. In 1950 ownership of the house was transferred to the National Trust.

For inventories and schedules concerning furniture, artworks, porcelain, books and other effects at Ascott, see 000/400, Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) and Marie, Mrs Leopold de Rothschild (1862-1937): Executors' papers. 

Further papers relating to Ascott and the Rothschild family who lived there will be found in the Ascott Collection »  A set of reproduction photographs of the gardens at Ascott, from the collections of the National Monuments Record will be found in 000/529, a collection of research papers of Miriam Rothschild concerning her book Rothschild Gardens

N M Rothschild & Sons: Estates Department, Ascott estate, receipts and invoices, 1879-1918

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Some accounts and receipts relating to Ascott were retained in papers of the Estates Department of the London bank. Go to N M Rothschild & Sons: Estates Department »

Estates: Ascott estate, Ascott Estate Office, sundry papers, 1905-1997

000/2380, 5 boxes

Ascott Estate Office: sundry papers: English Guernsey Cattle Society: Herd Book. Bulls, Cows and Advanced Register for 1947, 1951, 1953-1969 (19 volumes); correspondence and papers concerning the Ascott estate, including Income Tax and Land Tax, 1932-1940; papers concerning staff particulars and wages, papers concerning estate tenants, papers concerning Ascott Farms, 1933-1968; papers concerning Ancient Monuments on the estate and papers concerning  buildings of special architectural or historic interest and listed buildings on the estate; papers concerning Wing Village Hall (members of the Ascott Rothschild family were Trustees and Committee members): Wing Village Hall committee minute books 1905-1972 and sundry accounts. 

Estates: Ascott estate, Ascott Farms records, 1993

000/1851, 1 volume

Stud book in brochure format for the Eranda herd of pedigree Holstein Friesian cows belonging to Ascott Farms, c.1993.  

Estates: Ascott estate, catalogue of wallpaper, 2001

000/2071 , 1 volume

Catalogue of wallpaper at Ascott House, April, 2001.

Estates: Ascott estate, copies of Census returns , 1881; 1891; 1901

000/1236, 1 file

Copies of original register and typed transcripts of Census returns: Ascott, 1881, 1891, 1901.

Estates: Ascott estate, copies of papers in the archives of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, 1941

000/1852, 1 file

Photocopy of file dated 1941 from the archives of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, including papers concerning the use of Ascott House by the Red Cross and the Royal Hospital as a convalescence home and infirmary during the Second World War.

Estates: Ascott estate, deeds and manorial documents, c.1450-1900

000/2206, 14 tin trunks, 11 boxes, 2 boxed maps

Deeds and manorial documents relating to the Ascott estate. The collection comprises over 3,000 individual  documents and includes deeds and other documents related to land and hereditaments in the counties of Buckingham, Bedford, Hertford, Oxford and Lincoln. The documents are divided into bundles, and within each bundle the items are usually related to each other. The collection comprises documents that span the fifteenth to the twentieth century. 

The documents were transferred to the Archive from Ascott House in seven large tin trunks, seven medium tin trunks and seven archive boxes. The original trunks and boxes were numbered as below; their new 000/2206 reference is given in brackets. In some cases, once these papers were sorted, bundled and listed they no longer fitted into the original trunks; in such cases, papers now fill additional archive boxes; these boxes are identified with the relevant 000/2206 reference.

  • No. 531: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esq., Ascott Estate, No. 2, Schedule of Deeds and Map’ (000/2206/1)
  • No. 532: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 3’ (000/2206/2)
  • No. 533: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 4’ (000/2206/3)
  • No. 534: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 5’ (000/2206/4)
  • No. 535: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 6’ (000/2206/5)
  • No. 536: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 7’ (000/2206/6)
  • No. 537: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 8’ (000/2206/7)
  • No. 538: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 9’ (000/2206/8)
  • No. 539: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 10’ (000/2206/9)
  • No. 540: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 11’ (000/2206/10)
  • No. 541: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 12’ (000/2206/11)
  • No. 542 ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 13’ (000/2206/12)
  • No. 543: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 14’ (000/2206/13)
  • No. 543A: ‘Executors of Leopold de Rothschild Esquire, Ascott Estate, No. 15’ (000/2206/14)
  • Box 201 (000/2206/15)
  • Box 202 (000/2206/16)
  • Box 203 (000/2206/17)
  • Box 204 (000/2206/18)
  • Box 205 (000/2206/19)
  • Box 206 (000/2206/20)
  • Box 207 (000/2206/21)

List available.

Estates: Ascott estate, deeds and manorial documents, 1856-1956

000/1750, 2 boxes

Ascott: Estate papers and deeds: From tin trunk 562: 'Anthony G de Rothschild, Title Deeds Ascott Estate.' The papers span 1856-1956: Title deeds for land purchased by Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1882-1942) and Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961). A series of papers also deals with the ownership of land in a Trust created from the Estate of Charlotte de Rothschild (1819-1884) ownership of which passed to Rothschild Nominees Ltd. The papers include a copy of the will of Charlotte de Rothschild, 1884 and also of the Articles of Association of Rothschild Nominees Ltd., 1941.  The deeds relate to various pieces of land and premises at various places including: Ascott, Ascott Farm, Ascott Estate, Wing, Stewkley, Cublington, Aston Abbotts, Wingrave, Soulbury, Oving, Linslade, Hulcott, Burcott, Southcourt, Surcott Farms, Littleworth, Littlecote Farm, Manor Farm, Neales Farm, Lower Burston Farm, Upper Burston Farm, Burston Estate, Moor Hills (Moorhills), Lily Cottage (Wing), Gate House (Wing), Aylesbury Road (Wing), High Street (Wing), Depslow (otherwise known as Fraklins, Linslade), Old Mead and Bushey Close (Linslade). They also include agreements made with the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Aylesbury and Linslade Urban District Council and Wing Rural District Council. 

List available.

Estates: Ascott estate, deeds and manorial documents, c.1870-1939

000/1792, 2 boxes

Ascott: Estate papers and deeds: From a tin trunk 'A.G.de Rothschild Wing and Ascott Estate Pre-registration Deeds': Title Deeds are for land purchased by Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) and Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961). The papers also include a probate of the will of Leopold de Rothschild, 1917, and a copy of the grant of probate of the will of Marie de Rothschild (1862-1937) 1937, together with an assent by her personal representatives relating to her estate, 1939. The deeds relate to various pieces of land and premises in a range of places including:  Allymores (Burcott), Ascott, Ascott House, Ascott Mead (Ascott), Aston Abbotts, Backside Leys (Wing), Bennetts Lane (Rowsham) Bierton, Billings Close (Wing), Bridge Close (Wing), Burcott, The Chestnuts (Wing), Church Lane (Wing), Church Street (Wing), Cock Inn (Wing), Crafton (Wing), Drayton Beauchamp Estate (Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire), Fox Holes Ferne Furlongs (Wing), The Gate House (formerly Holly Bank, Wing), Glenside (Woburn Sands), Hammond Way Butts and Bottom Leys (Crafton Field, Wing), Hareleys Common and the Meadow (Aston Abbotts), The Haws and The Hams (Burcott), High Street (Wing), Home Farm (Wing Linslade and Grove), Hulcott, Leighton Buzzard, Norduck Farm (Aston Abbotts), Six Bells Public House (Burcott), Southcourt (Linslade), Steam Corn Mill Warehouse (Wing), Summerleys (Wing), Sunnybank (Wing), Turnpike Road (Wing), West Park Farm (Wing), Windmill Hill (Wing), Wing, Wing Park Farm. Names referred to include: Adams, Allayne, Arnott, Ashcroft, Aveline, Bassett, Baylis, Belgrove, Bellgrave, Benson, Biggs, Bone, Bradbury, Brandon, Brownlow, Bull, Burrin, Butcher, Cannon, Capp, Carline, Charter, Childs, Clark, Cleaver, Clinton, Coles, Cornborough, Cotchin, Cotetion, Crompton, Culverhouse, Da[rn]e, Davenport, Deacon, Denchfield, Dickson, Dowbiggin, Druce, Druitt, Ellingham, Elliott, Faulkner, Fleet, Foster, Fonnereau, Fountaine, Franklin, Freshfield, Gates (Baron), Ginger, Godwin, Goold, Grange, Green, Harris, Hart, Heckford, Heley, Hibbert, Hill, Hobbs, Holland, Hopkins, Horwood, How, Jarver, Jenney, Jones, [Lanster], Lee, Lenard, Loke, Lovett, Loyd, Lucas (Major), Mallaby-Deeley, Mallett, Manning, Maul, May, Mayne, Mead, [Meake], Miller, Morris, Newton, Osmond, Overstone (Baron and Lord), Paine, Parker, Partridge, Pettit, Phillips, Prentice, Purcett, Purrett, Pyke, Radwell, Randall, Randle, Rawlings, Redhead, Reeve, Reynolds, Richmond, Rickard, Ridgeway, Roff, Roads, Rogers, Rosebery (Earl), Rothschild, Saunders, Sayell, Sear, Shepherd, Sibthorp, Smith, Stevens, Stranks, Straw, Tarver, Theed, Thorne, Trueman, Underwood, Wagstaffe, Wantage (Baroness and Baron), Walter, Warner, Warren, Waterlow, Watson, Watts, Weedon, Whipham, White, Williamson, Willis, Willison, Windmill, Wing, Woodman, Woodwards, Yeates. Organisations referred to include: Ashfield Woodman and Allen (Solicitors), Aylesbury Brewery Company, Aylesbury Rural District Council, Barclays Bank, W Brown and Co (Auctioneers), Freshfield, Leese and Munns (Solicitors), H M Land Registry, Horwood and James (Solicitors), Ledburn Land Company, Linslade Urban District Council, Mystery of Mercers, Newton and Calcott (Solicitors), G Rowcliffe and Co., St Paul's School (Charity Commissioners), Wing Rural District Council.

List available.

Estates: Ascott estate, deeds and manorial documents, Court Baron records, c.1694-1939

000/1792, 2 boxes

Ascott: Estate papers and deeds: From a tin trunk 'The Manors of Wing and Aston Abbotts': records relating to The Manors of Wing and Aston Wing with their Members in the County of Buckingham, 1694-1935, comprising Court Baron records for the Manor of Wing. Upon gaining the ‘Seignory’ of the Manor of Wing, thereby assuming the title of Lord of the Manor, it appears that Anthony Gustav de Rothschild also acquired old Court Baron records dating back to 1694. The Court Baron was an English manorial court, presided over by the Steward of the Manor (a lawyer) principally responsible for administering transfers of copyhold property, by inheritance or purchase, among  tenants; such processes generating ‘fines’ for the Lord of the Manor. 

List available.

Estates: Ascott estate, music scores, c.1850-1900

000/2253 , 4 boxes

Music from the Muniment Room at Ascott House: Music played by the children; musical scores; plus 8 copies of 'The Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews', 1857; Mozart Sonatas; Carillon Valse par Georges Palicot, signed to 'Madame L de Rothschild' by the composer; 'Universal Lord, who the Sceptre Sway'd', Anthem composed as a token of respect to the Hon Walter Rothschild on his 21st birthday, Feb 1889; piano etudes in leather binding, embossed in gold 'M de R';  'Messengers of hope by William A Morris in blue velour binding; sonatas by Beethoven; Mendelssohn's songs without words; Schubert's Piano works.

Estates: Ascott estate, Ordnance Survey Photo Mosaic Sheet, Ascott, 1947

000/1228, 1 item

Black and white aerial photographs, reproduced from the Ordnance Survey Air Photo Mosaic Sheets (1944-1951) 1:10,560, held at the British Library: Ascott. August 1947. (42/82 SE).

Estates: Ascott estate, photographs, 1981

000/1787, 1 CD-Rom

Twelve images of exterior of Ascott house and gardens taken on a visit in 1981. 

Estates: Ascott estate, postcards, c.1960

000/2131, 3 items

Two black and white postcard-sized photographs of Ascott House exterior, c.1955-1965; one black and white aerial view of Ascott House, c.1960. 

Estates: Ascott estate, secondary sources, 1902

000/2319, 1 item

Article from Country Life Illustrated, 25 August 1900, 'Ascott, Buckinghamshire, the seat of Mr. Leopold de Rothschild'.

Estates: Ascott estate, secondary sources, 2008

000/2580, 1 volume

Ascott House Guide Book, John Martin Robinson (Scala Publications, 2008).

Estates: Ascott estate, Southcourt stud, 2016

000/2436, 1 volume

 Southcourt Stud, List of horses, 2016.

Estates: Ascott estate, sundry papers, [1931-1939]

000/2436, 2 volumes

Blank notebook, bearing the bookplate of Mrs Leopold de Rothschild, Ascott, Wing, Bucks. unused; small pocket book being a list of names of tenants, and employees and valuation and rents of estate properties, including Ascott House, Ascott Home Farm, Southcourt Stud Farm, houses in wing, cottages in Wing, sundry Farms, smallholdings and allotments. Undated, but likely to be some time between 1931-1939. Purpose of compilation unknown.

Estates: Ascott estate, Visitors’ Book, 1907-1924

000/1768/1, 1 item

Photocopy of a Visitors’ Book from Ascott House, covering the period 1907-1924. The original is retained in the collection at Ascott House.