Chastleton House is in a tiny village called Chastleton near to Chipping Norton in North Oxfordshire. It is owned by the National Trust and open to the public for wonderful tours around this beautiful Cotswold home.
This stunning Jacobean house has been standing for over 400 years in a small village in Oxfordshire. Chastleton House is an authentic vision of the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. It was built for a wealthy wool merchant called Walter Jones and took between 1607 and 1612 to build. It is a stunning Cotswold property that was passed down through generations for nearly four centuries but the family unfortunately lost money during civil unrest and consequently couldn’t forward to repair or upkeep the property. Therefore, there were very rarely any renovation changes to the house and this beautiful Jacobean home has kept many of its original features.
The Jacobean Home
The home was handed to the National Trust in 1991 and it still contains many contents and furniture from the original family. The National Trust decided to preserve the house as much as possible rather than renovate or restore it, therefore it still stands to tell the story of its 19 generations of the family who once lived there. Arthur, the grandson of Walter Jones was known as the Cavalier and worked for the Royalist forces in the English Civil War. It is believed that Arthur used to hide in the closet at Chastleton House when Parliamentary soldiers searched for him after the Battle of Worcester. The Jones family seemed to always support the wrong political side, therefore subsequent generations have always been unlucky with their fortunes. Inside the house, the 17th century Great Hall and Long Gallery feels very Victorian yet the Sheldon bedroom has a 1950’s white gloss painted wall panelling. There are believed to be a collection of around 6000 objects that go back over the 400 years for the house and it includes tapestries, art, furniture and Jacobean glass.
The Gunpowder Plot
It is believed that Robert Catesby who was once an owner of Chastleton House was believed to be the main figure in the ill-fated plot to blow up Parliament. It was Guy Fawkes who was the man that was caught in the Parliament cellars with the barrels of gunpowder but it was actually Catesby who led the plan in 1605. Catesby was a devout Catholic who had a strong dislike for James I after the Scottish king succeeded Queen Elizabeth in 1603 and he had long opposed to Catholic persecutions. Catesby was imprisoned after being captured and fined four thousand marks which is the equivalent of around £6 million today. He was also forced to sell most of his assets which included the Chastleton estate so that he was able to pay his penalty. Three years later Catesby was bitter towards King James who was not sympathetic towards Catholics so he had his first meeting of the Gunpowder plot including Guy Fawkes. They rented a cellar underneath the House of Lords in March 1605 and throughout the following months they moved 36 barrels of gunpowder there. In October that year and anonymous letter gave the tip off for the plot and when the authorities searched the Houses of Parliament on November 4, they uncovered the gunpowder. The gunpowder at the time was being guarded by Guy Fawkes. Catesby and the others had left the site earlier that day to head to the Midlands and on November 7 they were finally captured and cornered by 200 men led by the high sheriff, and Catesby was shot dead. Although Catesby had already sold Chastleton House, his mother was still living there. It is believed that many of the theories and the plots were thought up in his room and Chastleton House.
Cotswolds Tour with the Cotswold Mystery Tour
If you’re staying in or visiting The Cotswolds in England, make the time to see the English countryside at its best. Book a group tour with the Cotswolds Mystery Tour. Our Cotswolds tour takes you to all the best places in the area, ensuring you see the most beautiful places to get a true sense of the area. The Cotswold Mystery Tour caters for small tour groups of up to 13 people, taking you and your friends or family around the Cotswolds in a 7-seater luxury Mercedes minibus. If you’re staying in London, there’s an easy train from London Paddington direct to Moreton-in-Marsh only taking an hour and 40 minutes. Our Cotswolds tour picks you up from the train station for a 6-hour Cotswolds tour of the area, stopping for morning coffee and pastry in a village cafe, then taking you to a 16th Century inn for a delicious lunch. Our guides have plenty of experience with Cotswolds tour, showing you all the best places to visit in the area. We will drive past beautiful and magnificent Cotswold stately homes, chocolate box villages, pretty market towns and some of the most incredible Cotswold attractions around. Cotswolds tour for groups is the perfect way to absorb the beautiful countryside, giving you a true sense of English heritage. Don’t miss out, book your tickets now!