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A visit to the past at Packwood House

CEO Steven Hopkins visits the ancestral home of the Joseph Ash family.

Last weekend our CEO Steven Hopkins had the pleasure of visiting Packwood House in Warwickshire. The National Trust owns the house and if you like visiting heritage properties, this is well worth a trip, not only to see an example of 16th-century architecture but also to walk around the renowned gardens, with their herbaceous borders and a fine collection of yews.

But why is this of particular interest to Joseph Ash Galvanizing?

Packwood was first built around 1570 by the Fetherston family. However, by the early 1900s, it became home to Alfred Freer Ash, the son of Joseph Ash (1824-1915) – who had founded Joseph Ash Galvanizing in 1857. Alfred Ash died in 1921 and bequeathed his estate to his son, Graham Baron Ash (1889-1980), who set about restoring and extending it between the First and Second World Wars.

He filled it with fittings and furniture throughout these years, which he rescued from old, demolished houses, resulting in a place described as ‘Jacobean meets Edwardian’. There are some very fine examples of early English furniture and tapestries to be seen there.

Graham Baron Ash once said: “I am rescuing whatever I can from other places and preserving it here. I do this as an antidote to the decay and demolition of so many old houses all over the country.”

This thought-process gladdens us. To this day, Joseph Ash Galvanizing places great importance on sustainability and the benefits of ‘Making-Using-Reusing-Remaking-Recycling’, so it’s wonderful to see this ethos wholeheartedly embraced by the original family behind the Company.

If you’d like to visit Packwood House, find out more at the National Trust.

See a photo of Joseph, Alfred and Graham Baron Ash at Packwood House in 1905.

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