One Ash - a Victorian architectual wonder
Loughborough Monitor - 12th June 1953
On the road from Loughborough to Quorn, and just outside the town’s boundaries, are the gate and drive leading to “One Ash”, and near the right hand gate post is the tree from which the house received its name.
Very little of either house of grounds can be seen from the main road, and it is not surprising, therefore, that few people realise what a delightful property lies behind it sylvan screen. “One Ash” was built in 1894 to the designs of the later Larner Sugden, architect for Mr W Wright, web manufacturer of the Wright family.
In the planning of “One Ash”, Larner Sugden was many years ahead of his time. He designed a large house without any of the usual corridors which were such a drawback of that period. That he achieved this in the Victorian era when scant consideration was shown as to whether a house could be economically staffed, was little short of a miracle. Much interest was displayed by architectural circles and a contemporary issue of “Country Life” contained an account of the house and its architect.
Mr W Wright, who for some years previously had resided at 61 Forest Road, moved into “One Ash” in the early part of 1895, The Wright’s connection with “One Ash” ceased in the middle 1920s, when the house and grounds were sold to Mr A C Faire, from whose family it was acquired some 20 years later by Mr C K Deeming, its present owner.
Under Mr Deeming’s care no effort has been spared in improving the estate. The pleasure grounds, which cover nearly 13 acres, are laid out with taste and skill, and include tennis courts and a bowling green. Here and there Mr Deeming has, by a judicious thinning of the trees opened up fresh prospects, without in any way impairing the illusion of remoteness from other habitations.
In front of the house the smooth verdure of the lawn is relieved by some fine trees symmetrically planted, while on the west side is another fine piece of grass, an ornamental pool and a pergola. Near the house on the NW side is a very graceful weeping beech (var., pendula)
The original design for “One Ash” shows the conservatory as an adjunct to the west front of the house. This part of the plan, however, was not carried out – but it explains the very ornate structure of the conservatory, now in the kitchen gardens.
Mr Deeming, who is a keen apiarist, has several colonies of bees, including an observatory one.
The exterior of the house by reason of its very irregularity is most attractive. The elevation as far as the first floor is constructed of Swithland stone, while the upper floors are of brick. The large windows, many of them curved, are an especial feature, and are flanked with blue shutters. On the outer wall and to the right of the entrance porch, is a productive grape vine. The three main reception rooms of the house are grouped round the entrance hall from which leads the staircase; this receives its light from three stained glass windows depicting Bellum (War), Amor (Love, and Pax (Peace). These reception rooms are furnished with taste and the windows in each frame exquisite vistas of umbrageous beauty.
The panelled dining room is particularly delightful, for it contains so many items collected by Mr and Mrs Deeming during their travels on the continent that their visitors call it the Hall of Nations.
Upstairs on the first floor are the charming major bedrooms, while on the top floor is the library, a well equipped billiards room and the secondary bedrooms. Among other interesting curios in “One Ash”, I noticed a finely carved Florentine cabinet in the hall, while in an upstairs room was a large charcoal burner of beaten copper, which Mr Deeming brought from Spain some years ago.
I saw too, a magnificent French gilt clock of the early 19th century on a 3ft base, and surmounted by two bronze figures of soldiers playing dice in a reclining position. It was bought by Mr Deeming at the Beaumanor sale.
“One Ash” is a most delightful property which none can appreciate more than Mr and Mrs C K Deeming who, during the seven years of their ownership have done so much to enhance its charms.