Wednesday 4 September 2013

Great Places to visit near Stow on the Wold

Chastleton House

As we decided to have a bit of a staycation this year as part of my holiday it gave me a great chance to visit some of the many great places, which though so close to Stow, I have not managed to find the time to go to. Rather than write a little about each in this blog I thought I would write a little more about each and fit them in between blogs on the shop and research projects.
  So why not start with probably the closest and the one I have been meaning to go to since the National Trust first took it on and opened it to the public in 1997. Chastleton House and Garden is just over 6 miles from Stow on the Wold and was in the same family for nearly 400 years until the National Trust took it on.
The Trust have gone with a policy of conservation rather major restoration to the house giving it a feeling of being largely untouched for 400 years. The house was built in 1612 and has largely remained unspoilt because of the declining fortunes of the families who lived there and who didn't have the money to make any major changes. As you go into the house you enter the great hall with its long refectory hall. This would have had to have been made and then assembled in the room as there is no way it could have been carried in. There is also a nice lacquer cased clock with movement by one of Joseph Knibbs apprentices, Brounker Watts.

The house has an interesting collection of furniture and  stunning Tapestries now known to be  Sheldon work. There is a charming staircase that leads to one of my favourite rooms the Long Gallery . It is wonderfully atmospheric with its with its barrel vaulted ceiling which being 72 feet long is a rare  survivor.
There is lots more to see so I won't ruin it by posting too many photos. Some other interesting facts to finish. Walter Jones bought the house from Robert Catesby of The Gunpowder Plot fame. He knocked down the house and built Chastleton. The rules of Lawn Croquet were codified and published here in1866 and the Jaques Travelling Patience board which we have sold a couple of over the years was invented here by  Mary Whitmore Jones around 1900.
Finally, when leaving check out the small church next door with some fine brasses hidden under the carpet and the charming Dovecote in the field opposite.

By Simon Clarke.

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