Vinehall at the time of Lord and Lady Ashton – 1902-1938

Why is the Melon Garden called that?  Why do the Houses have the names they do?  Hopefully Year 3 can now explain!

We had a fascinating treat on Monday when Sally Chaplin, wife of former Headmaster David Chaplin, returned to her old home once more to take the pupils on a tour around the school, having introduced them to the days when Vinehall was a grand home for Lord and Lady Ashton.  The children were interested to find out that Joseph Paxton had designed the grounds and that prior to the Ashtons living here, it had actually been known as ‘Rushton Park’, after its owner, William Rushton Adamson.  Saxton were slightly put out that their House had been only a ‘made up ‘one!

We imagined being servants polishing the very same oak floor of the Front Hall, ready for a magnificent ball, and later in the tour we all walked down the grand main stairs, pretending we were either Lord or Lady Ashton.  We visited the dorm which used to be Lord Ashton’s bedroom and saw the bathroom where Lady Ashton washed her pet chickens long ago!  In the Drawing Room Year 3 were told how the children only saw their mother for an hour a day, and that ‘children were seen and not heard’ in those days.

I once taught Year 3 (then Forms 1W and 1C) with Sally and it seems like only yesterday in some ways!  Thank you so much for coming back to see the 3E of 2019 and pass on the many stories about Vinehall before it was a school.