cotswolds travel guide,
Chastleton, Moreton in Marsh
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Located 3 miles East of Moreton in Marsh, is the small village of Chastleton. Situated on the lower slopes of the Cotswolds hills. Chastleton is a modest village of Cotswold stone properties, the warm hues a result of the higher iron content in the stone. Standing proud, and slightly removed from the villages is Chastleton House, built on the site of a previous property, the one you will see today was built by Walter Jones, a wealthy wool merchant who purchased the estate from Robert Catesby. The buildings most outstanding feature is the long gallery at the top of the house which has a beautiful tunnel-vaulted ceiling. You will find a topiary garden at the side of the house, along with a dovecot in the field across the road. There is a wonderful story associated with the house to do with Arthur Jones, who during the time of the English Civil war was hidden from 'Roundhead' troops by his enterprising wife Sarah. To allow for his escape, Sarah drugged the troops wine with laudanum.
One of the original owners Robert Catesby lived in Chastleton, he was an ardent Catholic, and decided to take action against King James 1 when there was opposition to those of the Catholic faith. Catesby along with the notable Guy Fawkes and others plotted to blow up the King at the House of Parliament in London. The gunpowder due to be used in the planned explosion was kept at Catesby’s other house in Lambeth, London before being moved to the House of Lords. Unfortunately for Catesby the planned meeting of his enemies at the House of Lords was postponed due to death and disease brought on by the plague and the gunpowder was stored in the underground tunnels of the House of Lords, their plot against the King was discovered and Guy Fawkes was found, tortured and killed. Catesby had fled on hearing news of Guy Fawkes arrest but was later tracked down and killed in a gun battle.
Catesby's house was sold to Walter Jones who tore down the original building and replaced it with the building you will see shortly. Chastleton House has remained completely unchanged since the rebuilding was completed in 1612. The house was given to the National Trust in 1991 after 400 years of continuous ownership by the same family, its contents and furniture have been in use since that time.