Architectural salvage

A view of the long gallery at Packwood

The 1920s and 1930s saw much re-use of features from demolished historic buildings. The fireplace and its plaster overmantel came from a vintner’s shop in Stratford, the magnificent hall table was bought from Baddesley Clinton and some of the carved heads on the corbels supporting the roof beams are copied from originals in France.

The entrance hall was re-modelled, a new staircase was constructed and modern comforts were not ignored. Vacuum cleaners were purchased to keep the house clean, a water purifier was installed and running hot and cold water was supplied en suite to all four bedrooms.

This unusual lion head spout can be found in the bathroom
The bathroom at Packwood

To furnish his perfect country house, Baron Ash had to find the perfect combination of antique textiles, polished wood, faded gold and extraordinary objects which would convey his ideal of timeless Englishness.  Freshly cut flowers were of the greatest importance, to the extent that he made the provision of them mandatory on handing over Packwood to the Trust in 1941.

Flowers in the fireplace at Packwood
Flowers in the fireplace at Packwood

Sunlight filtering through ancient stained glass panes in newly-minted windows perfectly harmonised the colours and textures in his beautifully restored country house.

" He…filled it (Packwood) with appropriate furniture, tapestries, stained glass and ornaments of great beauty."
- James Lees-Milne, c.1947