Beautiful atmospheric garden with terraced gardens.
Below the house are parterres laid to lawn with shrubs, fruit trees and topiary. Wonderful views over the surrounding landscape.
Don’t miss the sculpture of the Shepherd Boy in the Green Court. Acting as a lookout while Lady Dryden entertained some of Cromwell’s troops, the boy blew his flue as the Cavaliers approached. The Roundheads fled to the Church and barricaded themselves in the Tower. However, they were forced to surrender when the Cavaliers set fire to the building. The men were forced to surrender and the Shepherd Boy was killed. The Drydens erected the statue in his memory.
Although the layout remains unchanged from the 17th century, new planting schemes have been introduced by the National Trust based on plans drawn up in the 1800s by Sir Henry Dryden.
If you have time, visit St Mary’s across the road from Canons Ashby. It is the remains of the west end of the nave of the Augustinian Priory founded c1150. Inside the Church is a plaque to Gervase Jackson-Stops, Architectural Advisor to the National Trust ‘Who loved this place’.
National Trust members visit for free.