House highlights

Two visitors look up at the Drawing Room Ceiling

Don't miss these five curious highlights during your visit to Canons Ashby house

Sir John’s ceiling

A rare surprise awaits you in the Drawing Room. Heads of Indian princesses, pomegranates and thistles feature in the seventeenth-century domed ceiling, which was a gift from Sir John Dryden, 2nd Bt, to his third wife. The need to conserve this amazing and unique plaster-work ceiling was the key reason the National Trust took on the property in 1981.

How many pomegranates can you spot in the ceiling?
Canons Ashby's Drawing Room ceiling

The panelling behind the paint

Today the Servants’ Hall may seem a little grand, with its gold panelling and colourful crests and emblems. This extraordinary and curious feature, probably added in the 1590s, was discovered in the 1980s when National Trust conservators removed centuries of cream paint.

Can you solve the mystery of the panelling?
Tudor panelling at Canons Ashby

The paint behind the panelling

From walnut panelling to grisaille paintings, the Spenser's Room shows a unique seventeenth-century mural depicting the Old Testament story of Jeroboam. This remarkable scheme was discovered behind early eighteenth-century panelling during restoration of the house. 

Discover the story behind this unexpected treat
The wall paintings at Canons Ashby

Nature, art and craftsmanship combined

A passion for nature, art and craftsmanship is combined in the Tapestry Room’s suite of walnut furniture. This wonderful collection still has its original early eighteenth-century embroidered covers, showing flowers, birds and pastoral scenes. We continue the historic practice of keeping the suite in low lighting to retain its amazing vivid colours.

Seeing this exquisite suite of furntiure is a must
Canons Ashby Tapestry Room


Clara’s watercolours

This enchanting collection by one of the last members of the Dryden family to live at Canons Ashby, Clara (1858 – 1938), illustrates many different aspects of her time at Canons Ashby. It proved an invaluable guide to creating the authentic nineteenth-century interpretation we have today.

Make sure you don't miss Clara's watercolours
A watercolour by Clara Dryden