An 18th century red brick building of three storeys, grade II listed. (1)
In January 1966 when the occupier of 37 St John's Street, Ashbourne, was preparing a bedroom in his house for redecoration, he found that the walls were adorned with paintings. A darkened dado covered much of the lower part, the upper part being filled with pictures. On one of the longer walls is a hunting scene; the shorter wall containing the window has a picture of a woman taking a dog for a walk along a waterside; the second longer wall has a view of Kedleston Hall on the chimney breast, against an unexpected background of hills; while the fourth wall, containing the door, has a large castle beside the sea. The painting is executed in tempera on plaster of exceptional quality and finish. The general feeling and style suggest a date around 1830 and it seems likely that these pictures are the work of a member of the Bassano family who were of Italian extraction and worked in Ashbourne as plasterers, gilders, painters and decorators throughout much of the 19th century and into the 20th. The oldest title deeds of no. 37 - formerly the Three Crowns Inn - dating from 1824 describe a workshop on the property and adjoining the house as 'lately in the possession of Mark Anthony Bassano and Thomas Hurd'. (2)
On August 1 2012 the list description was amended and the grade was changed from II to II*, to reflect the enhanced interest provided by the survival of the wall paintings. The paintings were rediscovered in c. 1914, according to an article in the Derby Mercury for that year, and the artist was identified as Thomas Ravensdale (d. 1872). He was employed by the Pidcock family who carried on their business of painters and plumbers at the house in St John's Street for 50 years. After the 1914 discovery, the paintings were again covered up and forgotten about until 1966. At that time it was speculated that the artist was a member of the Bassano family; however given the first-hand accounts from 1914, it is almost certain that Ravensdale was responsible for the wall paintings. (3)
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 3/1846/078.
Article in serial: Hollick, K. 1966. 'A painted room in Ashbourne', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 86, pp 104-105.
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 1335154.
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Centred SK 1813 4678 (17m by 16m)
ASHBOURNE, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Aug 16 2016 2:01PM
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