Charlton Park is located two miles north east of Malmesbury in Wiltshire.
Charlton Park has been a possession of the Earls of Suffolk since the
last years of the 16th Century.
The land on which Charlton Park Mansion House is built belonged originally
to the rich and powerful Abbey of Malmesbury.
At the Dissolution
in 1539 the fabric of the Abbey and much of its property was bought by
a prosperous clothier of the town named Stumpe, and by the end of the century
that part of his estate which included Charlton had passed to a great-granddaughter,
Catherine, daughter of Sir Henry Knyvet (whose tomb is in Charlton Church).
married as her second husband (and his second wife) Lord Thomas Howard,
1st Earl of Suffolk, and the House was built for her on the property which
she bought her husband. It was ready for occupation by 1607.
her death it was inherited by her second son Thomas, created in 1626 Earl
of Berkshire, whose descendants lived here until the union of the two branches
of the family in the middle of the 18th Century.
The Estate is the home of The Earl and Countess of Suffolk and Berkshire
and extends to 4500 acres. 3400 acres are farmed in hand with the
further 525 acres under the management of three tenants and in addition
there is 300 acres of woodland.