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Chastleton House is a National Trust property just north of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Well worth a visit.

House

Chastleton HouseChastleton is a modest Jacobean manor house which, due to the financial incompetence of the family that owned it, is pretty much in its original condition.

The same family lived there almost continuously since it was built in the early 1600s and the National Trust have decided to reflect this aspect of the house rather than create a 17th century time capsule. The result is still essentially Jacobean, but be prepared to see the odd collection of paperbacks besides an exquisitely carved 17th century bedstead. Apparently some people don’t like this, but I think that it helps to make the place feel more like a house and less like a museum.

Highlights

  • Lots of beautiful Jacobean embroidery
  • Tapestries from late 16th and early 17th centuries in bedrooms; 18th century tapestry in Great Parlour (dining room)
  • Pictures – mainly family portraits dating from late Elizabethan times through to Victorian photographs. (Pictures of real people are one of my passions)
  • Plasterwork and carving
  • Room stewards friendly and knowledgeable
  • Nice sheep

Gardens

Chastleton House, topiary in Best GardenWe only managed to have a quick look at the Best Garden – a garden-within-a-garden surrounded by a “wall” of yew and decorated with some eccentric topiary.

There is also a kitchen garden and a historically significant croquet lawn.

Grounds & Walks

Chastleton House - sheep

… particularly nice sheep

The path from the car park to the house passes through a small meadow which is all that is left of the original estate. The meadow is maintained by some particularly nice sheep.

There are also several public footpaths through surrounding farmland.

Wildlife

Mainly birds and insects.

Food & Drink

There’s no food and drink available at the house (apart from water), but on the day we visited, drinks, home-made cake and somewhere to sit down were available in the neighbouring church.

There is a pleasant picnic facility (tables and benches) by the car park.

Hot Tips

  • ¬†Allow 2hrs to see the whole house
  • You can leave backpacks at the ticket office

More Pics

Chastleton House, a set on Flickr.

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