Cowart's Common Room
Chavenage House

Yesterday we took a trip with the Cowbridge Rotary to Chavenage House, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

Chavenage is a 16th century, grey Cotswold stone manor house with many Civil War associations including the tapestry-lined rooms stayed in by Cromwell and his second-in-command, General Ireton, in 1648.

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We were shown round by Caroline Lowsley-Williams a member of the family who gave us a delightful and amusing account of the house and it's history.

Lunch was provided and cooked by Joanna another daughter in the family. An excellent meal served in the Edwardian ballroom.

The house has been featured countless times in various films including, Tess and the D'Urbervilles, Sleuth, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (an Agatha Christie), Lark Rise to Candelford and was presently being prepared by technicians for a Rosamund Pilcher story.

There are reputed to be several ghosts including that of Charles 1st, but on a sunny afternoon the ambiance was peaceful and pleasant.

Altogether, a splendid day out and fully recommended should you be in the Cotswolds anytime soon.

Posted at 20th Jul 2013 - 11:46AM   Posted by Arosebyanyothername   Chavenage House Comments: 11

Withy Brook's Avatar Looks a lovely place. Not much chance of a trip to the Cotswolds, though.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 20th Jul 2013 at 11:54AM

Fennie's Avatar Shall be in the Cotswolds on August 7th, though whether I shall be up to visiting houses is another matter. Just on the question of ghosts - how do you know the ghost is Charles the first? And not, say, Charles II? Or even Oliver Cromwell posing as Charles I? (He would have enjoyed that wouldn't he?). I know you take a dim view of ghosts - but I wonder whether ghosts appear more often to men than to women, or vice versa. And are there equal numbers of male and female ghosts? Grey ladies who pine for headless horsemen.

Someone needs to do some research.

Posted by: Fennie on 20th Jul 2013 at 12:02PM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I know nothing about ghosts - and believe even less - just repeating the story we were told.
'Nathanial Stephens, a Knight owned this home and plotted to Kill King Charles I. His daughter, so upset that her father brought shame to their family name placed a curse upon him. It seems the curse worked because shortly after he became ill and died. After he died he was driven away in a hearse, the fact that the Nathanial rose up from his coffin and got into the hearst makes the occasion special, the fact that it was driven by a headless man, that then assumed the shape of King Charles I makes it downright creepy. It is said from that time on, any time the head of the family died, Charles would pull up in his hearse to escort them to the great beyond. The family line eventually died out.'

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 20th Jul 2013 at 12:18PM

Fennie's Avatar Nor surprisingly. How did the headless man see where he was going? And shouldn't Nathaniel have got out of the hearse rather than have got into it? And was it just the head that resembled Chas I? Or did the body look like him, too. Oh you could have great fun with this in the theatre. Just imagine a dialogue (trialogue?) between a head, a headless body, and a resurrected (but still presumably sick) corpse.
The body would need to communicate by text. Oh you could have fun. Imagine the corpse pinching the crown, the headless body snatching it back and then finding he didn't have a head to put it on!

Posted by: Fennie on 20th Jul 2013 at 01:15PM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar Off to casualty in Bridgend now - Jim has gashed his foot on the tail of the bronze whippet!

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 20th Jul 2013 at 01:35PM

KitKatCot's Avatar Oh, I love the Cotswolds. We were there three weeks ago for the seventh year in a rowShocked

Posted by: KitKatCot on 20th Jul 2013 at 04:02PM

Fennie's Avatar Not the headless whippet!Very HappyVery Happy

Consolations to Jim!

Posted by: Fennie on 20th Jul 2013 at 06:12PM

Camilla's Avatar Love the Cotswold stone architecture, lucky you Rosie to have visited Chavenage House.

I worked for a lady a few years ago who is an ancestor of Charles 1 Fennie, she had black and white drawings of him on her sitting room walls. She is still alive at 95 years.

As to the Cromwell name, I believe it was changed to Williams the surname, a man I greatly admired way back told me he was a descendant of Cromwell but he did not like many people to know that, his family name was changed to Williams too.

Oh my goodness Rosie, sorry to hear about Jim's foot, sending lots of healing vibes for him.

Posted by: Camilla on 21st Jul 2013 at 02:08AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Now that one will probably go in the A&E book of interesting injuries!
I hope it's better this morning.

Lovely house Rosie and a fascinating history.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 21st Jul 2013 at 11:49AM

Fennie's Avatar Camilla, I believe Cromwell's name was Morgan and the family came from Wales. Certainly he adopted the name Cromwell which came from Thomas Cromwell, whose life he admired.

Posted by: Fennie on 21st Jul 2013 at 11:52AM

Camilla's Avatar Hi Fennie,

Yes, that's right what you say... but I have read also that the surname of Williams was there too along the lines, certainly as you say the family came from Wales.

Posted by: Camilla on 24th Jul 2013 at 01:00AM

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