Every picture tells a story

Our heritage

Although our family has owned the houses and estates of Amesbury Abbey, Sutton Manor and Winton House for many years, they each have a history which goes back much further.

Every one has a different tale to tell - each as fascinating as the other.

 

Amesbury Abbey

The original Amesbury Abbey was closed by Henry VIII in 1539 and gifted to the Seymour family.

Over the years, this beautiful mansion has changed considerably, reflecting its many uses from a former convent to a military training base for members of the Australian Armed forces.

The grounds include the restored Chinese summer house commissioned by Charles, Duke of Queensbury, and designed by Sir William Chambers, designer of the pagoda at Kew.

Even the iconic Stonehenge was a part of the Abbey estate before it was sold in 1915 to Cecil Chubb for £6,600.​​​​

Ongoing archaeological digs have uncovered Mesolithic flints, a 9,000-year-old spring, tiles from the 13th century, and even a poison bottle from the old Army medical centre.

 

 

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Sutton Manor

This beautiful Queen Anne manor house was once the home of the film magnate J Arthur Rank. 

Rank, who loved shooting game very nearly as much as he loved shooting films, bought the estate in 1933 after reading in the particulars that the game bag for the 1930-31 season included 2,402 partridges.  

The grounds included a tennis court, sunken swimming pool, and a peaceful walled rose garden where Marilyn Monroe loved to sit when she came to visit, and which still enchants guests and visitors today. Rank would also entertain Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner and Dirk Bogarde in the grand sitting room, which remains unchanged. 

 

 

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Winton House

Winton House was originally a vicarage for the local church in Nether Wallop.

The house was previously owned by the Galica family, whose daughter Divina Mary Galica MBE is a British sportswoman who competed in four Winter Olympics as a skier. She also pursued a career in motorsport, entering three Formula One World Championship Grand Prix.

The ballroom was used by Middle Wallop airfield in WW1 and if you look up you can see the remains of the skylight that was put in place to light up the operations board showing aircraft movements. The Royal Air Force’s most celebrated night-fighter pilot, John ‘Cat’s Eyes’ Cunningham, was based at Winton.

Other famous visitors to Winton include the actor Christopher Lee and Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon’s first wife.

 

 

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