The Shuttleworth Estate at Old Warden in Bedfordshire is best known today for its collection of vintage aeroplanes, but its history stretches back far earlier. In the Middle Ages, the area belonged to Warden Abbey on the other side of today’s village. In the early eighteenth century, Sir Samuel Ongley, a wealthy London linen draper, bought what would become the Shuttleworth Estate and it was his descendant who, in the 1820s, created the famous Swiss Garden and began the model village of Old Warden. The Shuttleworths, rich industrialists, acquired the estate in 1872 and golden years of weekend shooting parties followed. Tragedy struck in 1940, when the sole heir Richard Shuttleworth died in a flying accident. His mother Dorothy set up an educational trust and their mansion became a college for land-based activities.
The summerhouse earned its date stone when it was renovated in 1878 by Joseph Shuttleworth, who added the pale terracotta balustrade. It then seems to have served as a pavilion and summerhouse through the estate’s golden years, but was left without purpose in reluctant dereliction after the Second World War.
Flooring and Paving
Supply and fixing of Ancaster Weatherbed flooring. The combination of the two colours of the limestone is used here to great effect.