In 1992 Antoinette Parkes discovered Ashcombe. She looked down at the house, buried in a valley in the heart of Cranbourne Chase in Wiltshire, and she stared, transfixed and silent, soaking up its beauty…
In Ashcombe Revisited Antoinette Parkes recounts the story of her discovery, purchase and renovation of Ashcombe. She tells of how she struggled, then succeeded, to purchase the estate from the reclusive Hugh Borley, who had famously fallen out with Cecil Beaton, a tenant of the house for fifteen years.
She recalls the excitement and tribulations of renovating the house: conflict and despair mingles alongside moments of laughter and happiness.
Parkes’s narrative is accompanied by many of her own photographs, taken during the renovation, alongside a series of evocative images by photographer John Cleare. It is written with detail, verve and feeling and provides a panorama of the joys and demands of restoring a country house.
Ashcombe Revisited captures the allure of Ashcombe, a house which has captivated and broken the hearts of each of its owners in equal measure.