Claydon House

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Claydon House is a country house in the Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, England, close to the village of Middle Claydon. It is owned by the National Trust.

There has been a manor house on the site of the present house since before the Norman conquest of England. In the Domesday Book (a survey of England published in 1086) the house was listed as belonging to the Peverell family, who arrived from Normandy with William the Conqueror. Their tenants, the Gresleys, were managing it for them at the time.

Having passed by inheritance through two further families it was purchased by Sir John Brockley in 1433 who was Lord Mayor of London at the time.

Claydon has been the ancestral home of the Verney family since 1620. The church of All Saints, Middle Claydon lies less than 50 yards from the house and contains many memorials to the Verney family: among them Sir Edmund Verney, who was chief standard bearer to King Charles I during the English Civil War. Sir Edmund was slaughtered at the Battle of Edgehill on October 23rd 1642 and is buried in the church at Claydon. It is said that at dusk, on the anniversary of his death every year, an apparition of the battle itself appears on the lawns of the great house, and has been reported by many servants from the house through the years since Sir Edmund’s death. In 1661, following the Restoration of the Monarchy, Sir Edmund’s son (Sir Ralph Verney II) was awarded a baronetcy by King Charles II for his and his father’s loyalty and bravery during the preceding period of unrest. He was later, in 1703, made Viscount of Fermanagh and his grandson was, in 1742, created an Earl. Both titles have since, however, become extinct.

The original house was rebuilt by Ralph 2nd Earl Verney between 1757 and 1771. The house as it stands today is a fraction of its original planned size. The original conception was of a mansion to rival the richer Earl Temple’s huge mansion at Stowe, a few miles away near Buckingham.

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