Dauntsey House is situated in Dauntsey Park, in the grounds of what was Dauntsey Manor, close to the the Church of St James the Great. The original house was probably built for members of the Dauntsey family in the 14th century after a licence was granted, in 1344, to Roger Dauntsey for an oratory in Dauntsey manor. The house was occupied by the Danvers family in the 16th and early 17th centuries; by Charles, Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth in the 18th century and later by Sir Henry Meux and his wife Valerie.
The oldest part of the house is a hall running north to south which has “a raised base cruck roof of three bays on rubble walls”. Later additions included a chimney stack on the west wall and a stone-walled cross-wing at the southern end, dating from the 17th century or earlier. In the later 18th century, the hall and cross-wing were retained and the cross wing was converted into a large drawing room when the house was extended to the west and faced with ashlar. In the early 19th century, a stair hall and kitchen wing were added to the north of the earlier hall and possibly on the site of medieval service rooms.
Below a terrace to the west of the house flows the River Avon, which was straightened, probably during the 18th century and in the 19th century, a lake was created. There is an “extensive brick stable court” to the north-east of the house.
Read more about the families and people who lived at Dauntsey House in Part 2 coming soon. If you like house and family history, you may also like to read the story of Apthorp Villa in Bath.