Located near Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire, Chastleton House was built in the early years of the seventeenth century. It is an amazing (and slightly spooky) Jacobean building, and a perfect place for a Stuart fan to visit.
My family and I are members of The National Trust, which looks after this property, and we’ve certainly made good use of our membership in recent months. From the visitor car park, there is quite a long walk from the entrance down to where the house is located (270 yards, according to the website). There are timed entries into the house, so be aware of this. We were given a handy brochure which contained an overhead map and a brief historical timeline, both of which were useful.
Walter Jones had this great house built between 1607-1612, having bought the previous old manor owned by Robert Catesby (he of the Gunpowder Plot). The interior still retains a Stuart-era feel, and I loved how many gorgeous portraits there were adorning the place, so seventeenth-century aficionados will no doubt enjoy having a good look around.
Some Stuart-era mezzotints:
There was a lot of random historical paraphernalia around, all as if frozen in time, which was pretty neat! The cellars, however, were dark and spooky, perfect for inspiring a ghost story or two.
I loved the ceiling of the hall at the top of the house, it is absolutely breathtaking. Just look at that pattern:
By the way, the interior of the house was staffed by helpful volunteers who were happy to answer any questions.
There was some exquisite stained glass of Henrietta Maria and King Charles I. This photo simply doesn’t do them justice, the colours were rich and they were surprisingly sizable:
The gardens are lovely here, with a kitchen garden, a wilderness walk, parkland, greenhouses, and beehives. There are even croquet lawns here and we saw some visitors playing the game. After all, the rules for croquet were apparently codified here by one of Chastleton’s residents. My daughter had a good old run around the lawns here and absolutely loved the whole experience. So, it’s a great visit for solo visitors, couples, and families: everyone!
Next to the house is an old church and it was sweet to see it being used to serve tea and cakes. There were quite a lot of people sitting just outside this church and enjoying the summer weather and the treats. A lovely visit, but do be prepared to walk and wear comfortable shoes.
For more information, please visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chastleton