Georgian Society for East Yorkshire

Obituary: Barbara Ashwin

Mrs Barbara Ashwin in 2014

Mrs Barbara Ashwin in 2014

Saturday, 13th February 2021

Barbara Ashwin (1925-2020)

With the death last September of Barbara Ashwin of Londesborough Park at the age of 94, East Yorkshire has lost someone who did much to preserve important aspects of its Stuart and Georgian past. She was passionate about the history, buildings, landscape and people of her community and the conservation and promotion of its unique heritage. Born in Hertfordshire Barbara was living with her uncle and aunt at Market Weighton when in 1947 she married Dr Richard Ashwin, owner of the Londesborough estate. Her active involvement with the East Yorkshire Federation of the Women’s Institute led to membership of the regional group organising events to celebrate European Architectural Heritage Year 1975, which was followed by series of conservation projects that she initiated at Londesborough. These included the restoration of the near derelict late 17th-century stable block and its conversion to housing and various schemes relating to the site of Londesborough Hall, its gateways, grounds and parkland. Access to the hall site and grounds along with teas in the Reading Room, organised by Barbara and village helpers, have become an annual event on Bank Holiday weekends and the annual Snowdrop Sundays. Barbara took a particular interest in All Saints Church, working tirelessly to secure funding for the repair of its fabric and the conservation and secure display of its remarkable contents associated with Burlington family - funeral helms, heraldic banners and brass coffin plates. In her last days Barbara was working on a new edition of the village history, the publication of which she had overseen in 1977.

David Neave February 2021

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