Cotswolds

Chastleton House and Gardens, near Moreton-in-Marsh

Built in the early 17th century, Chastleton House remained in the same family for almost 400 years and was built as a statement of wealth during the reign of King James I. Considered one of the finest country houses of that period, it is said to have links with the Gunpowder Plot, the Jacobite rebellion and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Chastleton is a rare example of a Jacobean country house and was handed over to the National Trust in 1991. It underwent extensive preservation works due to its state of dilapidation, revealing a hidden trove of treasures, many of which are on display today.

From the car park, it’s a gentle downhill stroll to the house. An introductory film in the Stable block gives a superb overview of the restoration works. In the house itself, you will see the Long Gallery, with its beautiful views over three different counties, and grand rooms including the Great Chamber and Library. The Juxon bible sits in the library and was allegedly read to King Charles I prior to his execution. 

The surrounding gardens largely follow the original Jacobean design and overlook the glorious Oxfordshire countryside. As was the fashion, Chastleton’s topiary would have once taken the form of cats, peacocks, snails and teapots, but today is has a more free-form approach. In contrast to the neatly clipped topiary trees, wander through the Wilderness garden and perhaps pick up some seasonal produce in the Kitchen Garden.

From April to September, take to the lawn for a game of croquet. You will be following in the footsteps of former resident, Walter Jones Whitmore, who first codified the rules of the game in 1866. 

Whilst there is no tearoom at Chastleton House, you can visit the church next door where local charities serve up refreshments alongside lovely views of the house. 

The quintessentially Cotswold towns of Moreton in Marsh and Stow on the Wold are nearby, where you will find plenty of lovely cafes, pubs, galleries and independent shops. 

NT Chastleton House does not open year round. Check their website for opening times and admission charges.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Chastleton, near Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire GL56 0SU | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chastleton-house

Images copyright National Trust Chastleton House

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