History of The Chapel
The Great Hall was first built as a Chapel by John de Cerne in 1302, a few yards from its present site in a field still known as 'Chapel Close'. Sir Thomas Freke rebuilt it on its current site in 1605 as part of his house, which was three times the size of the current Manor (much of his house was used in 1777 to build the Ansty Brewery near the Fox Inn, as well as some of the barns and stables). After the sale of the estate to Pitt Rivers, the Chapel was put to farm use, with many of the windows blocked - one even had a chimney through it.
It was only in the 20th Century that the Chapel began its 50 year restoration; notable roof repairs started in 1953, the year of Elizabeth II's coronation - the date marked on a central roof boss as 'E II'. Now called the Great Hall, it is again impressive with its 17th Century wagon roof of trussed rafters in eight bays.
The staircase of local elm giving access to the house was made in 1988, as was the Horsey memorial window commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir John Horsey who built what survives of the house. The tapestries are copies of Flemish originals, while the oak furniture dates from the 18th and 20th centuries.
The North Woodland window showing trees, wild flowers and local wildlife was commissioned from the same artist who created the Horsey memorial, Stephen Bowman.