Students and study groups of all ages are welcome at Great Chalfield. Both local schools and Marlborough Summer school enjoy visits. For details please email or telephone 01225 782239.
Detailed local history articles of Great Chalfield will become available in downloadable format in the future.
Great Chalfield Manor has a well documented history. Completed in 1480, the manor house is enhanced by a moat and gatehouse and has beautiful oriel windows and a great hall. The estate was recorded in the Domesday Book as the property of Ernulf de Hesding, Comte de Perche. The property was owned by various branches of the Percy family until the 16th century. In the Civil War, Chalfield was garrisoned by Parliamentary troops between 1644 – 46 and withstood a short siege. The 1st Duke of Kingston acquired the estate when he married an heiress, but it was sold by his son in 1770. The property remained in the hands of the Neale family until 1878. After which it was acquired by the Fuller family.
Thomas Tropnell stands out among his fellow Wiltshire gentry as more energetic and certainly more astute than most. He built an impressive career, often by using his knowledge of legal procedures to good effect, during a period when the shifting sands of civil war and the rivalries among a new breed of entrepreneurs caused many to come to grief. He has been described as ‘a man of vigour and imagination, able and forceful. He was in many ways a precursor of a Tudor gentleman.’
The Friends of Great Chalfield have published Hugh Wright’s biography of Thomas Tropnell MP builder of the present manor who is buried in St Bartholomew’s Church in Corsham in 1488. Copies are available for £3 each at the manor.
The Restoration of the Manor
Robert Fuller, electrical engineer, restored Great Chalfield between 1905 and 1912 with the able assistance of Sir Harold Brakspear as his architect. Robert Fuller married Mabel Chappell in 1911 and they presented the manor with the furniture they had collected to the National Trust in 1943. Today the manor is the home of their grandson Robert Floyd and his family.
The present Arts and Crafts gardens are complete with upper and lower moats, yew houses and herbaceous borders and orchard were designed for Robert Fuller at the beginning of the twentieth century by ‘Parsons and Partridge’ and have been sensitively replanted in recent years to reflect the restful and unpretentious atmosphere of the house.