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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Spring at Chastleton House

I don't often get the chance to pop down to Chastleton House but when I do it always seems to be in Spring time. It has been a while since I last visited and on my last trip, camera's were not allowed inside but like with many properties now, times have changes and as long as you don't use a flash then you are free to photograph what you wish .Some people don't understand why no flashes are allowed but if a lot of flashes were to keep going off, the lights would damage the contents of these beautiful houses which so many fight to preserve. We must look after our heritage, it is our history and so much of it has already been destroyed or left in ruin.
Chastleton House is very different from many of the other National Trust properties. The Estate was bought by Walter Jones in 1604 and the house that stood there was pulled to the ground to make way for what you see today. The new Chastleton House which is a Jacobean country house, was built around 1612 of Cotswold stone which considering where it stands, just outside the market town of Morton-in-the Marsh, is no surprise. The original house was owned by Robert Catesby who was one of the Gunpowder Plot instigators which connects this Estate to Coughton Court  and Coombe Abbey.                    

 Walter Jones family owned the estate for nearly 400 years. It came into National Trusts care in 1991. At that time it was decided to keep the house as it was rather than restore it to it's former glory as it showed a time in history when many land/estate owners struggled to keep their homes and sold off anything they could, rather than lose the family estates. Without funds for repairs the house started to deteriorate. It took National Trust until 1997 to make the house safe for visitors and to stop it deteriorating further.
One of the room guides told me the floor in the kitchen had collapsed before they took it over and all this had to be fixed which cost a lot of money but you would never know stood in it today.

One of my favourite things about Chastleton House is the wooden frame as you enter the hall. With a curtain on one side, my son thought it looked like somewhere you go to confess your sins. I guess it does a little. The detail on it is beautiful.

I am used to seeing deer but I have not seen one like this before. It just proves 3D is not a modern idea.

The beautiful clock that stands in the Grand Hall.

I have to say I do like the feel of the house and I love the way it has been left stuck in that time in history. The first time I ever walked inside Chastleton house, I can remember feeling like I had just walked through a door back into a different time in history. I do have a love of history so this was ideal for me to set my imagination going, which to be honest, is never hard for me. I never look at these old houses as they are today but always imagine them as they were.

                               My son wanted to know if these biscuits were laid out especially for him?

The accounts I believe.

The Drawing room

The Diningroom 

The fireplace in the diningroom. The tiles remind me of those at Packwood House

I love the staircase in this house. It is very different from others I have seen.

You can click on the images to make them larger if you wish.

The wood all around this house is quite amazing, so much detail.

I think this was the Master Bedroom. 

The tapestries in this room has so much going on in them. They even had Dragons in them.

 The Library 

                                                    An old fashioned table lamp.

Another one of the bedrooms but this one has a story to it. If you look in the corner of this room you can see a little door that leads to a secret room. How many of us growing up wished we had a secret room hidden in our house or am I the only one?

The secret room used to have a wooden panel on it so I guess it would have looked like a closet when you opened it. This bedroom is called the Cavalier room as in the 1650's during the Battle of Worcestershire, Arthur Jones (who's family lived in the house at the time), evaded capture by hiding in this room. The best bit of the story was that when Cromwell's soldiers came looking for him, they could not find him but they also insisted on resting that night and slept in this very bedroom. Arthur's wife put laudanum in their beer so that they would  fall asleep quickly and deeply, enabling her husband to climb over the sleeping soldiers and make his escape.         

 Chastleton House's long gallery is 72 ft long with a barrel vaulted ceiling, it is said that it is the longest to have survived in England.

This room reminds me of the Library at Blickling Hall which is 123 ft long and makes me wonder how this room would have looked in it's glory days.

Carvings above the fireplace.

Through the long gallery you come to an attic sort of room which has a few museum items belonging to the house where I found these splendid old clothes dummies.

Apologies for the light reflection on this family tree but it was hard to avoid.

                                                                The top of the staircase.

 I think visiting these sort of places helps children understand their history better and what it used to be like. Seeing pictured in books and reading stories in a classroom is nothing compared to seeing things as they really were. This is why I used to love Tudor and Victorian days at school, it is something the children never forget. It is the same when you have an interactive kitchen in these old houses like at Charlecote Park and a few other properties. The children love dressing up and cooking and the parents faces watching their children are always full of smiles. It just brings history alive for so many people.

                                                                                 The kitchen

 There were some biscuit moulds in the cupboard which made me smile as I have some that look very similar passed down from my Grandmother. Here are mine.



 It is a shame the old oven does not work or there is not a fire of some sort because the kitchen is a lovely size and I could just imagine children cooking in there.

One of the chambers below the house.

We ran out of time this day so had to quickly walk through the brewery and some of the other chambers but that I can cover another time. I will leave you with a few pictures from outside.

                                                The kitchen garden.

                                                          The view from the long gallery.

                                       And a last look at the lambs as we walk back to the car.

These two lambs were funny.They came running straight up to me before getting told off by their mother :)

                                                                      Time to go.

                                                        A link to chastleton house.

                            Photos Copyright Jana Eastwood


  1. Oh Jana, once again you got the lambs to pose for you! They are gorgeous. I haven't been to Chastleton for ages, must go soon - in 2 weeks time Gary will be finishing work so we will have loads of time, but sadly a lot less money, never mind we will still have some trips out now and then. Will just have to save up for the petrol as he'll no longer have a company car!

  2. Thanks Bobbie.I have to say they did pose for me and without much trouble. Because of where they are, they are used to people walking through the field so they don't run away so easily.
    I went with one of my sons, it was our one to one time and I really enjoyed it. I haven't been for a long time either and have to go again as I ran out of time.