Charlton Park, Wiltshire

Charlton Park is a country house and estate in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of the town of Malmesbury. Charlton Park House is a Grade I listed building and a leading example of the prodigy house.[1]

Charlton Park House

Malmesbury Abbey held Charlton manor from before 1086[2] until the Dissolution. The house was begun in the 1560s by Henry Knyvet, whose wife Elizabeth Stumpe had inherited the manor. In 1598 the manor passed to their daughter Catherine, wife of Thomas Howard, who was created Earl of Suffolk in 1603, and the estate continues to be the seat of the earls.[3]

Enlargement and alteration of the house, including the addition of the second floor and stair turrets, was completed in 1607. John Dryden wrote Annus Mirabilis while staying at the house in 1667.[3]

Major alterations were made in the 1770s by Matthew Brettingham the Younger for Henry Howard, 12th Earl of Suffolk, with the rebuilding of the south front, additional stair turrets, and the roofing-over of the central courtyard to make a large domed hall; the interior was unfinished on Henry's death in 1779 and was not completed until the early 20th century.[3] Brettingham probably also built Andover House, some 150 metres north of the main house, with its estate offices and stables.[4][5]

The house was converted into apartments in 1975. The current earl, Michael Howard, 21st Earl of Suffolk, owns the park and the surrounding agricultural estate.[6] The park hosts corporate events and, since 2007, the annual WOMAD Charlton Park music festival.[7]

Parts of "Piece of Cake", a 1988 British six-part television serial depicting the fictional life of a Royal Air Force fighter squadron during the first year of World War II, were filmed here. The squadron's officers' mess was set in the house. For the production, Spitfire fighter aircraft were operated from the grass runway.

The small village of Charlton is immediately to the east of the estate. The civil parish of Charlton encompasses the village and the estate.

Charlton park from the west, c.1800, Hendrik Frans de Cort


  1. ^ Historic England. "Charlton Park House (1022216)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  2. ^ Charlton in the Domesday Book
  3. ^ a b c Crowley, D.A. (ed.). "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 14 pp36-50 - Parishes: Charlton". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Andover House and Estate Office (1262080)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Stables at Andover House (1363923)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Charlton Park Estate". Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Home Page – the TLS".

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  Media related to Charlton House, Brinkworth at Wikimedia Commons Coordinates: 51°36′05″N 2°04′12″W / 51.6014°N 2.0699°W / 51.6014; -2.0699