National Trust, Chastleton House

Image credit: National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

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Chastleton is a Jacobean house, which has remained largely unaltered since the 1610s. It was built for the son of a wealthy wool merchant, Walter Jones I (1550?–1632), the third attorney in the increasingly active and powerful court of the Star Chamber. It was bought by the National Heritage Memorial Fund in 1991 and given to the National Trust. Its most distinctive features are the West Staircase, with continuous rising newel-posts (the ‘flying’ oak East Staircase, though bearing the date 1636, was actually built in 1830); the Great Chamber, with the grandest chimneypiece in the house, incorporating the coat of arms of Walter Jones impaled with those of the Popes of Wroxton (to which his wife was not entitled), and a frieze with two dozen painted roundels of Old Testament prophets and Sibyls. The Long Gallery, at 72 feet, is the longest surviving barrel-vaulted gallery still in situ in England. Apart from the old family portraits, there are many oil sketches left by the recent owners who were amateur artists: Alan Francis Clutton-Brock (1904–1976) and his wife Evelyn Alice Vernon-Harcourt (1878–1964), Mrs Clutton-Brock.

Chastleton, near Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire GL56 0SU England

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