Walton Castle

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Walton Castle
Walton Castle.jpg
LocationClevedon, North Somerset, England
Coordinates51°27′06″N 2°50′33″W / 51.451755°N 2.842477°W / 51.451755; -2.842477Coordinates: 51°27′06″N 2°50′33″W / 51.451755°N 2.842477°W / 51.451755; -2.842477
Built17th Century
Restored1984
Restored byMargarita Hamilton
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated22 July 1987[1]
Reference no.33170

Walton Castle is a 17th Century, Grade II listed castle set upon a hill in Clevedon, North Somerset, England, [2] on the site of an earlier Iron Age hill fort.[3]

History[edit]

The Domesday Book records the site as belonging to "Gunni The Dane", however the structure that occupies the site was built sometime between 1615 and 1620 by John Poulett, 1st Baron Poulett.[4] The castle was designed as a hunting lodge for Lord Poulett, a Somerset MP. The English Civil War saw the decline of Poulett's fortunes, and by 1791 the castle was derelict and being used as a dairy by a local farmer.[5]

Walton Castle in 1788 drawn by Samuel Hieronymus Grimm

In the early 19th century, the manor of Walton in Gordano, including Walton Castle was bought by Philip John Miles[6] who also held properties and extensive estates elsewhere including Kings Weston House, Leigh Court, Cardigan Priory and Underdown in Ledbury, Herefordshire, whence his family had originally come.

The castle passed through the Miles family by descent and in 1975, the castle's owner, Sir William Miles, the 6th Baronet, offered to give the ruin to the public if some money could be found to preserve it. The estimate for this rose from £6,000 to £46,000 and the plan fell through, as did a plan to set up a trust.

Restoration[edit]

In 1979, Sir William Miles's daughter and his son-in-law, Martin Sessions-Hodge, spent £100,000 and over a year restoring the ruin into a five-bedroom, three-bathroom house.

In 1984 they sold it to Rai and Margarita Hamilton, a financier and record studio owner respectively. The couple made further alterations to the castle, though some of these had to be reinstated due to problems with unauthorised removal of crenellations on a listed building.[7][8] Margarita regularly hosted charity events at the castle into the late 1990s, but in 1996 the couple separated. After the council formally warned Margarita over the number of noise abatement complaints, in 2013 she sold her share of the castle for £1.5M to Walton Properties Ltd., a Guernsey company in which her estranged husband has a minority interest. She moved out of the property supposedly on the condition that she could still arrange events at the castle.[9][deprecated source] However no mention of any such arrangement is contained in the Purchase & Sale Contract and it appears that any such arrangement would have been a private agreement between Margarita Hamilton and her ex-husband and has no binding effect on the new owners. Margarita Hamilton commenced proceedings in the Bristol High COurt in an attempt to obtain reparation for her perceived injustice. In 2009 comedian Bill Bailey was guest of honour at an event designed to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Walton Castle". historicengland.org.uk. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  2. ^ "Walton Castle, Exclusive Castle Accommodation near Bristol, England". Celticcastles.com. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  3. ^ "Walton Castle". Fortified England. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  4. ^ Newman, Paul (1976). Channel Passage: the area around Portishead, Clevendon, Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea. Kingsmead Press. p. 20. ISBN 0901571741.
  5. ^ "History". Waltoncastle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  6. ^ Rutter, John (1829). Delineations of the north western division of the county of Somerset, and of its antediluvian bone caverns, with a geological sketch of the district. London: Longman, Rees, and Co. and J. and A. Arch, Cornhill. p. 242.
  7. ^ "King of the castle". Atomic Bob. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  8. ^ Jackson, Penny (2004-06-16). "King of the hill - Property, House & Home". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  9. ^ Joseph, Claudia; Trump, Simon (14 June 2015). "Evicvted! She's the wild Queen of the Rave Castle who drove Somerset mad with her up-all-night carousing. Now the party's over... but it's not the locals who've seen her off - it's her scheming ex-husband". Mail Online. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Comedian launches £1 million cancer appeal at Walton Castle". SouthWest Business. Retrieved 3 December 2010.

External links[edit]