Tuesday, 12 April 2016

In the footsteps of William Craven and Elizabeth of Bohemia

On Saturday I headed off to visit Ashdown House. Given the house is not big, and doesn't open until 2 AND is a 100 miles away I needed something to do in the morning. Luckily I managed to get access to two churches I wanted to visit.

The first of these was Hampstead Marshall which happens to sit next to Craven House. The original burned down in the 18th century and was built by William Craven, 1st Earl Craven for Elizabeth of Bohemia (widow of the King of Bohemia and Daughter of James I of England). After her husband death William brought her to England and built houses for her and lived with her. It is alleged that they were secretly married.

The original house has disappeared but these still remain.

Hampstead Marshall church

So off to Ashdown house and here is the thing.... William Craven built the house as a hunting lodge for .... Elizabeth of Bohemia. Alas she died before its completion. Oh and I didn't know of the coincidence beforehand.  Elizabeth's grandson was the future George I.

1 comment:

Tricia Ryder said...

the two gate posts (?) really stand out in B&W