Great Chalfield Manor

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry footings remains

NameGreat Chalfield Manor
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishAtworth

Great Chalfield Manor House was built by Thomas Tropenell in c. 1480, on the site of a ruined fortified house. Of the earlier building all that remains are the bases of the east and north curtain walls, the lower part of a circular tower at the north-east angle, and traces of a half round tower to the west near the bridge. Within the curtain at the north-east corner is the parish church of Great Chalfield. Tropenell's house was considerably altered about 1550; among the alterations was probably that of the long west wing for use as stables and servants' quarters. By 1837 a quadrangle of domestic offices had disappeared and other parts were in ruins, and in 1840 the building was adapted as a farmhouse. Between 1905 and 1912 the house was thoroughly restored under the supervision of (Sir) Harold Brakspear. The work included the rebuilding of the solar, the reconstruction of a 16th-century stone chimney-piece from original fragments recovered from a rockery, and the insertion of a staircase in the east wing. The principal front and entrance are on the north and are approached by a bridge over a moat and by a gateway at the northern end of the west wing. The front remains much as it originally was, with the hall in the centre, two projecting gabled wings with oriel windows, and, on the inner side of each, lesser gables, the western forming the porch. The south front, which originally had a southward extension, has been partly reconstructed to the original pattern, including a timber-framed portion on the west. On the apexes of the gables are carved the figures of armed knights. Inside the house are many 15th- and 16th-century features, including the original main timbers of the hall bearing the Tropenell motto, stone groined ceilings with the Tropenell arms, and panelling, chimney-pieces and decorated plaster-work dating from the mid-16th century. (In 1837 plans were made by Sir Harry Burrard Neale for the restoration of Chalfield manor. T. L. Walker, a pupil of A

C. Pugin, made elaborate drawings and descriptions of the house which were later used by Sir Harold Brakspear in his restoration work. For these and other details see R. F. Fuller, Guide to Great Chalfield Manor, published by the National Trust.) (VCH 1953)

Gatehouse Comments

Site of an earlier fortified house of a branch of the Percy family.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST860631
Latitude51.3675994873047
Longitude-2.20233011245728
Eastings386020
Northings163180
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Books

  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 569-74
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) passim
  • Pugh, R.B. and Crittall, Elizabeth (ed), 1953, 'Parishes: Great Chalfield' VCH Wiltshire Vol. 7 p. 61-2 online transcription
  • Walker, T.L., 1873, History and Antiquities of the Manor House and Church at Great Chalfield, Wiltshire (Supplement to Pugin's Examples of Gothic Architecture )

Journals

  • Tipping, H. Avray, 1914 Aug. 15 and 29, Country Life p. 230-7, 294-301
  • Davies, J. Silvester, 1900, 'The manor and church of Great Chalfield' Transactions of Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society Vol. 23 p. 193-261 online copy

Guide Books

  • 2007, Great Chalfield Manor Guide Book (National Trust)
  • Floyd, R., 1980, Great Chalfield Manor Guide Book (National Trust)
  • Fuller, R.F., Guide to Great Chalfield Manor (National Trust)