The romantic gardens were restored in the twentieth century in the Arts and Crafts style by Alfred Parsons RA.
Don’t miss the fun topiary house, the terraces outside the house, the gazebo and lily pond.
Great Chalfield Manor is now owned by the National Trust although the Fuller family still live and manage the house. There’s no shop but tea and delicious home-made cakes and scones are served in the barn.
Parking is on the verge just outside the entrance to the gardens.
If you have time, visit the 14th century parish church next to the house.
Combine this visit with The Courts Garden – a one mile walk by public footpath.
National Trust members visit for free.
Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the Manor was held by Sir William Rous at the end of 13th century.
It then passed to the Percy family, with Constance, widow of Sir Henry Percy, marrying Henry de la Rivers. After a long and expensive lawsuit, the Manor was acquired by Thomas Tropenell in 1443 who declared he was the rightful heir.
Tropenell built Great Chalfield Manor on the site of an earlier building. Don’t miss the wonderful portrait of Tropenell which was recently found behind some panelling in the dining room – Tropenell’s stance is similar to the full-length portrait of Henry VIII which was painted by Hans Holbein in 1537 for the Whitehall Palace but was destroyed by fire in 1698.
Described by a contemporary as a ‘perillous covetous man’, Tropenell became a Member of Parliament in 1429 and a lawyer by 1445. He refused a knighthood and died in 1487.
From the 15th century, the house passed through several hands until it was bought by Robert Fuller, a successful electrical engineer in 1905. The house and garden were in need of restoration and Fuller paid Alfred Parsons RA fifty guineas a year for four years to create a garden and Sir Harold Brakspear FSA to restore the house.
The property was given to the National Trust although the Fullers still live in the house.