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Visiting the house at Chastleton

Visitors looking at the tapestries and bed hangings in the Fettiplace Room at Chastleton
Visitors in the Fettiplace Room | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Chastleton is a rare gem of a Jacobean house, barely changed for over 400 years. Behind its Cotswold stone exterior is an atmospheric time capsule. It's home to nationally significant textiles, rare Jacobite glass, and family portraits.

Chastleton House was built between 1607 and 1612 by Walter Jones as a statement of newly-acquired wealth. However, lack of funds over the following centuries meant that few changes were made to the building. This means many original features still exist today.

Creative, bohemian couple Barbara and Alan Clutton-Brock inherited Chastleton in 1955 and brought their family here. You'll see topical magazines, books and records from their heyday as you move through the house. You can also see some of Alan Clutton-Brock's own paintings on display.

Highlights of the house

The Fettiplace Room

This room holds examples of some of the nationally significant textiles in our care. The tapestries were woven by hand in Flanders, between 1560 and 1580. The crewelwork bed hangings were made in the 1720s.

The Great Chamber

This room was meant to be seen by important guests. Decoration includes a remarkable high-relief ceiling and grand chimneypiece.

An engraved decanter and glasses on display here belonged to Henry Jones in the 1740s. But owning them was an act of treason, as they're engraved with emblems in support of the Jacobite cause. The set is a rare survival, as it was customary to smash the glasses after toasting the cause.

The Long Gallery

Curving above this room is the longest-surviving barrel-vaulted ceiling of its date in England. After centuries of neglect, the plasterwork was restored in 1904-5. Two grotesque mask heads at the west end of the room are extremely rare survivals from the 1600s. They're likely to have been placed there to deter evil spirits.

The Long Gallery at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire, with a wooden floor, wood-panelled walls and a barrel-vaulted ceiling. A rare gem of a Jacobean country house, Chastleton House was built between 1607 and 1612 by a prosperous wool merchant as an impressive statement of wealth and power
The Long Gallery at Chastleton House | © National Trust Images/Peter Greenway

The Old Kitchen

Except for a new cooking range, the kitchen has barely been modified since its construction. It includes original feature such as a serving hatch and wooden ceiling rack.

Conservation tours

Since taking on Chastleton in 1991, we've tried to balance the time-capsule atmosphere with conserving the house. Dust is tolerated, but we monitor the building carefully to make sure the process of decay is kept in check.

You can learn more about how we care for and preserve our collection and interiors with one of our conservation tours. See our events listings here.

Family activities

Pick up a Chastleton House Adventure Pack when you visit with your family. There's a booklet, binoculars, magnified glass and torch to help you explore the mansion.

People walking away from the south front of the house at Chastleton

Discover more at Chastleton

Find out when Chastleton is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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The carved bed and swinging crib in the Cavaliers bedroom at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

Behind Closed Doors: Chastleton Conservation Tours 

Tuesdays 28 May and 29 October, 1.45-4pm: spend the afternoon with our conservation team discovering Chastleton’s unique approach to conservation and what goes on behind the scenes to preserve this Cotswold gem. £25 per person.

Carved panelling and furniture in the Great Hall at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

The history of Chastleton House 

Chastleton was built as a display of wealth and status, but eventually fell into a state of romantic neglect. Discover the history of this fine 17th-century country house.

Summer plants blooming around an entrance through the topiary in the Best Garden at Chastleton

The garden at Chastleton 

Discover a series of discrete spaces in Chastleton’s romantic garden, where you’ll find a productive Kitchen Garden, historic croquet lawn and neat topiary.