AboutBritain.com Logo

Great Chalfield Manor and Garden

©NTPL/Andrew Butler

Click Photo for Slideshow

It is hard to find a more delightful example of a medieval manor house than Great Chalfield Manor, surrounded by its seven acres of splendid Arts and Crafts gardens in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside.

The house has retained its historic atmosphere and ancient architecture much as it was when it was built in the 1470s for Thomas Tropnell, a local landowner.

When it was finished, Great Chalfield Manor had all the trappings of the day - a moat and gatehouse for security and a Great Hall for entertaining. It was built on the site of an earlier property which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The manor house is built of honey-coloured stone and still has its squint
©NTPL/Andrew Butler
Click Photo for Slideshow

in the porch for checking out visitors and a small wicket door which allows entry just one at a time. The gabled facades have carvings of griffins holding the Tropnell coat of arms.

Great Chalfield Manor was a family home for generations, passing from the Neale family to the Fuller family in 1878. It was thanks to Robert and Mabel Fuller, who extensively restored the property in the early 20th century, that it was given to The National Trust in a relatively good condition in 1943.

The family continues to occupy part of the property as Robert Floyd is the grandson of Robert and Mabel Fuller.

It was Robert Fuller who commissioned the wonderful Arts and Crafts gardens which were designed by Alfred Parsons in much the same style as they are enjoyed today.

There are upper and lower moats, a yew house, orchard and stunning herbaceous borders providing summer colour. A spring fed fish pond, gazebo, rose garden, waterlily pond and topiary shrubs all add to the delightful ambience of these pleasant gardens.

A tour of the interior of this historic residence with a resident guide will reveal it follows a
©NTPL/Andrew Butler
Click Photo for Slideshow

late medieval pattern with a Great Hall decorated with hunting trophies. The beautiful oriel windows are one of the highlights of the manor house, along with the antique furniture, tapestries and the unusual Tropnell's Cartulary of archives and records.

The dining room has a beautiful mural, and those looking carefully will see a man with five fingers on each hand.

From the first floor rooms there are stone masks which allowed the ladies to spy on the proceedings in the Great Hall below. One is carved as a king with the ears of a donkey, another is a bishop with his mitre and the third is a laughing face.

Surrounding Great Chalfield Manor and gardens is Wiltshire countryside watered by the tributary of the River Avon. There is a home farm, woodland walks and the tiny Parish Church of All Saints which are all part of the estate. The church dates back to the 14th century and has a more recently added bellcote and spire.

Great Chalfield Manor does not have its own café as there are several nearby, but gifts and plants are available from the National Trust shop on site.

Share this article


Bus Services:
Faresaver 237 Trowbridge-Melksham (passing close Trowbridge ), alight Holt, 1 mile.

NCN4. On the Wiltshire Cycleway View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website.

By Road:
3 miles south west of Melksham off B3107 via Broughton Gifford Common (follow sign for Broughton Gifford, take care in narrow lane). Coaches must approach from north (via Broughton Gifford); lanes from south too narrow.

By Train:
Bradford-on-Avon, 3 miles

On Foot:
1-mile walk by public footpath from The Courts Garden (National Trust), Holt.

Ordnance Survey Reference:

Great Chalfield Manor and Garden Postcode for SatNav: SN12 8NH


+44 (0)1225 782 239
+44 (0)1225 783 379

near Melksham
SN12 8NH

Copyright © 1999-2024 Excelsior Information Systems Ltd. All rights reserved.
About Us  Press Room  Terms of Use  Privacy  Link to Us  Index  Site Map  Contact Us

Made with Responsive Grid System by Graham Miller