From the Journal of Mrs. Arbuthnot - January 23, 1822: We went to Ashridge (Lord Bridgewater's in Hertfordshire) to meet the Duke of York and a large shooting party. The house has been totally built by Lord Bridgewater; it is modern Gothic, which I do not admire, but altogether it is certainly very fine; the rooms are magnificent, very finely proportioned and beautifully finished, the staircase is very fine indeed and highly ornamented. . . . The flower gardens and conservatories are beautiful and the whole establishment worthy of a great nobleman and an excellent good man. Lord Bridgewater employs 500 men all the year round upon his estate and makes it a rule never to refuse work to any who apply for it, and he frequently has 800 men in his pay. The shooting was excellent; Lord Londonderry was generally at the head and one day killed 107 head. The Duke of Wellington killed above 80 one of the days. I played whist in the evening with the Duke of York against the Duke of Wellington, whose luck at cards is quite extraordinary. It seems as if his good genius accompanied him in every, the most trivial concerns of life. Lady Bridgewater, one of the mornings, took Lady Londonderry and me all over the work shops where they were carving wood and stone ornaments for the chapel, which is certainly the chef-d'oeuvre of the house.
Labels: Duke of Wellington, Kristine Hughes