Rood Ashton House
Rood Ashton House was a country house in Wiltshire, England, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) northeast of the village of West Ashton. It was once the home of the 1st Viscount Long, and during his residence it was visited by various members of the British Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII.
Viscount Long's great grandfather Richard Godolphin Long commissioned architect Jeffry Wyattville to build the house in 1808, replacing an earlier mansion on the estate. It was altered and extended in 1836 by Thomas Hopper, who incorporated some panelling and other material brought from another Long family property, Whaddon House, which had been rescued from a fire there the previous year.
The estate was originally purchased by Edward Long of Monkton in 1597. In the 19th century a considerable amount of money was spent on improving its agriculture, but the Long family saw little return for their expenditure, and the changes in taxation on agricultural land brought about by the Lloyd George government made it financially unviable.
The house and the remaining 4,100 acres (17 km2) were put to auction by Lord Long's executors in February 1930, six years after his death. The estate included 17 farms, 21 small holdings, 100 cottages, two public houses including The Longs Arms at Steeple Ashton, and a square mile of woodland. 2,500 acres (10 km2) were purchased by a syndicate of his tenants, ending 333 years of continuous ownership by the Long family.
The house was used as military accommodation and a hospital during World War II. In the 1950s it was advertised for sale again, and the agent's details listed eleven principal bed and dressing rooms, a further thirty five bedrooms, six bathrooms, two lodges, stabling, parkland, a lake and farm of 248 acres (1.00 km2) with farm house and buildings, all for ₤35,000. The new owner stripped the house of all its assets: the lead roofing and all internal panelling, fireplaces etc., were put into containers and shipped to the United States, after which time the house, now a roofless shell, became derelict. In the 1970s the building was demolished except for an eight-bedroomed servant’s wing, which has been restored with reclaimed timbers, and is now a private residence. In March 2012 the property was on the market for an asking price of £2,650,000.
Another building of interest is West Ashton's parish church, St John's, which contains the family crypt of the Long family.
- Memories, Autobiography by Walter Hume Long - 1923
- The Times, 13 August 1914; Issue 40603
- The Times, 13 February 1930; Issue 45436
- Wiltshire Times, 12 April 2002