Chesterton House (Post Medieval manor house)

Description of this historic site

The site of a manor house built in the Post Medieval period to replace an earlier hall. It was demolished in 1802. The site of the manor house is visible on aerial photographs. It stood 350m north of the church, Chesterton.

Notes about this historic site

1 The old Peyto mansion formerly stood on an eminence in a field called ‘Image Hill’ to the NW of the church. The manor house was built by John Peyto and was altered and enlarged by Sir Edward Peyto in 1632 from the design of Inigo Jones. It was demolished in 1802.
2 The manor house replaced a Medieval hall towards the end of the 17th century and was a classical building of three storeys, said to have been designed by Inigo Jones.
3 The site falls in a field that has been ploughed and returned to grass.
4 In 1650-60 the Medieval moated manor was replaced by a Classical mansion of three storeys, with a facade of eleven bays. Said to have been built by Inigo Jones, more likely John Stone.
5 Various air photographs.
6 Air photos show remains of a large rectangular building with probable corner projections on the site of the manor house.
7 The manor house is shown on the 1849 tithe map.
8 Architecturally significant house by John Stone in Jonesian style c1657.
9 The appearance of the house is recorded in an illustration in the Aylesford Collection, and its plan is shown on an 18th century estate plan (reproduced in source).
10 The resistance survey clearly defines the foundations of the mansion, and surrounding wall enclosure with a number of entrances to and from the mansion. Traces of a large circle can be seen in front of the house with possible garden features in the centre, this is probably the driveway and seen on the drawing of the house. Cultivation over the years has remoived large areas of cobbling that surrounded the mansion, the cobbling can be seen in front of the three cottages and has been cut by later pathways. Small trial excavations revealed large areas of coupling that still survive where the cultivation could not reach, up against the wall garden and hedgerows. A substantial early water pipe was also located. Excavation work work within the walled garden revealed sandstone steps adjacent to the standing wall today. The excavation also revealed evidence of construction work having taken place before the walled garden was built, possibly for storing materials for the mansion. Dozens of fragments of sandstone were found during the trial excavation, along with oyster shells and clay smoking pipes. The sandstone chippings were probably the remains from the carving of sandstone blocks used in the facing of the mansion.
11 A series of tree-planting pits are visible on aerial photography. These correspond with an area of tree-planting shown on a Willoughby de Broke estate map of 1697 just to the west of the 17th-century mansion.

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