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Great Chalfield Manor, Westwood Manor, Montpresson House, Corsham Court and Avebury Manor. Such a variety of styles and periods in charming houses and gardens. Explore a wealth of history.

Holiday Ideas > Charming Wiltshire Manor Houses to Visit

Charming Wiltshire Manor Houses to Visit

Great Chalfield as "one of the most perfect examples of the late medieval English manor house".

The moated manor house was built around 1465–1480 for Thomas Tropenell, who made his fortune as a clothier. The independent hall, lit on both sides, is flanked by unusually symmetrical gabled cross wings, with oriel windows and lower gabled porches in the inner corners, in the north-facing former entrance court, for which the richest effects were reserved. Its external symmetry, unusual for its date, is superficial. The intimately connected parish church, largely rebuilt by Tropnell, also faces into the court, which was formerly entered obliquely through a gatehouse in the west wing; Part of a moat survives, but the forecourt has been opened up to the outside in a manner that changes its original inward-facing aspect... Wikipedia.

The house was altered substantially when the house was reduced, in particular the great hall, adapted as a farmhouse, lost its ornate ceiling, with only one of the original bosses surviving.

The house and garden were purchased by the Fuller family in the early 1900s, and given to the National Trust in 1943, it is now open to the public. Robert Floyd, grandson of Robert Fuller, and his family live here and manage the property for the Trust. Tours of the house are at fixed times and visitors are escorted by a guide.

The house is Grade I listed; the Tropenell Cartulary manuscript, compiled for Thomas Tropenell, is still kept there. The barn northwest of the house, built in the 17th and 18th centuries, is also Grade I listed, while the gardens are Grade II listed.

All Saints' Church, near the front of the house, is a small church dating from the 14th century. It is Great Chalfield's parish church. The present church was built c. 1480, with surviving features including the south chapel, the small square bellcote and the roof of the nave. The font is 13th century and the pulpit 17th. Church registers survive from 1605. The building is Grade I listed.

The house and grounds have hosted the film industry since the end of the 20th century, location filming includes The Other Boleyn Girl, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Wolf Hall, and Poldark.

Westwood Manor, near Bradford on Avon is a 15th-century manor house  

with 16th-century additions and 17th-century plaster-work. It is the former home of Edgar Lister, a diplomat at the Ottoman court in the early years of the 20th century.

The house contains fine furniture, musical instruments and tapestries collected by Lister between 1911 and 1956, when he died in a car crash. He restored the house throughout and adorned the garden with topiary; he was also an expert in needlepoint and upholstered much of its furniture in Florentine work.
It has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1956 and is designated as Grade I listed. The property is occupied by a tenant, who administers it on behalf of the National Trust, and is open to the public a few days of the week in the summer.

Mompesson House is an 18th-century house located in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire. Grade I listed, it has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1952.

The building was built for Sir Thomas Mompesson, MP for Salisbury in 1679, 1695 and 1701, designed in the classic Queen Anne style of that period.
To the right of the main house is a service building which was constructed on the site of the old Eagle Inn that closed in 1625.
Thomas's son Charles completed the building in 1701. The house passed through the Longueville family; to the Townsend family, the flamboyant artist Miss Barbara Townsend, mentioned in Edith Olivier's book, Four Victorian Ladies of Wiltshire, lived there for the whole of her 96 years. The Bishop of Salisbury, Neville Lovett, lived there from 1942-46; and in 1952 the freehold was purchased from the Church Commissioners by the architect, Mr Dennis Martineau who immediately gave it to the National Trust.

Mompesson House was used as a location for the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

Corsham Court is an English Country House in a Park designed by Capability Brown.


Notable for its fine art collection, inherited in 1757 by Paul Methuen from his uncle, Sir Paul Methuen. It is currently the home of the present Baron Methuen, James Methuen-Campbell, the eighth generation of the Methuens to live there.

Corsham was a royal manor in the days of the Saxon kings, reputed to have been a seat of Ethelred the Unready. Passed down through the generations of the royal family, during the 16th century the manor went to two of Henry VIII's wives, Catherine of Aragon and Katherine Parr.

During the reign of Elizabeth I the estate passed out of the royal family; the present house was built in 1582 by Thomas Smythe.
The wife of the owner of Corsham Court in the mid-seventeenth century, Lady Margaret Hungerford, built what came to be known as the Hungerford Almshouses in the centre of town.

The house was bought in 1745 by Sir Paul Methuen, and the house remains the seat of the Methuen family today.

In 1761–64, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was commissioned to redesign and enlarge the house and landscape the park. Brown set the style of the present-day building by retaining the great gabled front to the house, which he doubled in depth and provided gabled wings at either end of the house, creating the Picture Gallery and State Rooms, a Library and new kitchens. The Long Gallery contains Italian Old Masters, with a notable marquetry commode and matching pair of candlestands by John Cobb (1772) and four pier glasses designed by Robert Adam (1770).

Brown also worked as a landscape architect at Corsham. His plans include a Gothic Bath House,  a "Great Walk" stretching for a mile through clumps of trees, an ornamental arch was built so that the family and their guests could walk underneath the public right of way without having to cross it.
The layout of grounds and gardens by Brown represents his most important commission after Blenheim Palace.

In 1795, Paul Cobb commisioned John Nash to completely remodel the north façade in Strawberry Hill Gothic style. All of Nash's work at Corsham save the library was destroyed when it was remodelled by Thomas Bellamy in 1844–49 during the ownership by Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen.

Following the destruction of their premises during World War II, Bath Academy of Art (now Bath School of Art and Design and part of Bath Spa University) moved to Corsham Court in 1946. During its stay at Corsham until 1986, teachers at Bath Academy included many key figures of British art such as Kenneth Armitage, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Adrian Heath, Bernard Meadows, William Scott and Howard Hodgkin.

Some of the scenes from Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon were filmed at Corsham Court. In 1993 the house was a location for The Remains of the Day.

Avebury Manor & Garden is a Grade I-listed early-16th-century manor house and its surrounding garden. Close to the Avebury neolithic henge monument.

The manor house was built on or near the site of a Benedictine cell or priory founded in 1114. Subsequently the site passed into the ownership of Fotheringhay College in 1411. Some of the religious foundation were incorporated into the later house.

William Sharington bought the manor in 1548. The earliest parts of the present house were probably built after William Dunch of Little Wittenham who purchased the estate in 1551, in the 1580s, William Dunch passed it on to his younger son, Walter Dunch who's widow Deborah subsequently married Sir James Mervyn, undertook a major extension/remodelling of the house around 1601. In 1640 the Dunch family sold it to John Stawell and then, in 1652 to George Long.

The house has had many extensions and changes over the centuries, including the addition of a racquets court in the 18th century, the final addition being the West Library which was added by Leopold Jenner who occupied the house in the early 20th century and completely redesigned the gardens. The house was leased to and restored by Alexander Keiller who took an intense interest in Avebury henge in the late 1930s. In 1958 the house was designated as Grade I listed.

The manor house is now owned by the National Trust and is open to the general public. The garden was completely redesigned in the early 20th century. In 2011, Avebury Manor was the subject of the BBC One television series The Manor Reborn, in which the house was refurbished by a group of experts in collaboration with the National Trust, and presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin. As of 2016, visitors are encouraged to touch and experience the furnishings and objects in the rooms which now represent periods in the house from the 16th century to the early 20th century. The house is reputedly haunted!

Book your stay at Coachmans Cottage now

Thanks to VisitWiltshire for the images.

  • Coachmans Cottage

    Prices from £270.00

    Coachmans Cottage is a spacious, single storey, all ground floor, Wiltshire holiday cottage, with 2 bedrooms. Idyllic for 2 guests but fully equipped for 4. Furnished throughout in classic Georgian style. Soft lighting, comfortable furnishings and immaculately clean. Easy to use log effect fire during the winter months, full guest controlled heating and constant hot water. WiFi. Private courtyard garden and parking. Children over 10 years old welcome.

    • 2 Bedrooms. Sleeps 4. An all Ground Floor Cottage. Owner living next door.
    • Stunning English Country Cottage in a Village on the Wiltshire/Somerset Border
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    • Steeple Ashton, a conservation village with a walkable pub and shop
    • Ideal location to explore Bath, Stonehenge, Lacock and Longleat
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