Before he became an architect, Joseph Pickford trained to be a stone mason!
Joseph Pickford was born in Warwickshire, but moved to London as a child when his father died. He initially trained with his uncle, also Joseph Pickford, who was a stonemason and a sculptor. Pickford worked for his uncle initially as a mason and later as an architect (a common career route for architects). He moved to Derby about 1760 and the house he designed for himself in Friar Gate, which he used as a show house for potential clients, is now a museum. He worked extensively throughout the Midlands, primarily designing houses in the Palladian style. He was friends with many of the Lunar Society , and was responsible for Josiah Wedgwood's, a Lunar Society member, new hall at Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent. He built Compton House in1766 and re-fronted The Mansion.
One of the largest and most imposing gentleman’s town house in Georgian Ashbourne. Originally built in the 1680s and improved to the latest Georgian fashions (partly by Joseph Pickford) in the second half of the 18th Century.
An imposing stone faced Gentleman’s house with probably the best Georgian frontage in Ashbourne.