In 1737 Henry Chilvers Vince built a house which was eventually called Clyffe Hall. When Henry Vince died in 1748 he was succeeded by his son, of the same name, who was a minor. Therefore Clyffe Hall was let to tenants for some years.

By 1814 the copyhold had been surrendered and Lord Radnor conveyed Clyffe Hall, with other lands in the parish, to his second son Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie. Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie died in 1850 and the estate, then consisting of about 512 acres, was taken back in hand by Lord Radnor. Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie’s only daughter Louisa, who was the widow of the Hon. Samuel Hay, continued to live at Clyffe Hall until she died in 1898.

Watercolour of Clyffe Hall, painted in 1858 by the Hon. Louisa Hay
© Market Lavington Museum

Edmund Clarke Schomberg bought Clyffe Hall after the death of Louisa Hay. He in turn, sold the property in 1905 to Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington, later Lord Warrington of Clyffe, who owned it until his death in 1937. His widow Lady Warrington sold it in 1938 to Mr Stewart Reynolds who ran the property for a while as a hotel before reverting it to a private residence, Mr Reynolds subsequently sold the property to Mr William Hall.

Timeline of Owners or Occupiers:

1737 – 1748Henry Chilvers Vince (Snr)
1748 – c. 1814Henry Chilvers Vince (Jnr)
(The hall was let for some time before the copyhold was surrendered to Lord Radnor)
c. 1814 – 1828Lord Radnor
1828 – 1850Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie
1850 – 1898Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay (nee Pleydell-Bouverie) widow of the Hon. Samuel Hay
1898 – 1905Edmund Clarke Schomberg
1905 – 1938Sir Thomas Rolls Warrington (later Lord Warrington of Clyffe)
1938 – TBCMr Stewart Reynolds
TBCMr William Hall

Clyffe Hall’s development over the years

The central part of Clyffe Hall was built in 1737. At this time it was a fairly small but elegant house with various distinguished features including at least one elaborate plaster ceiling. The cost of the house may well account for some of Vince’s debts. An inventory of 1752 details the house which includes a hall, drawing room, tapestry room, a best parlour, and two little parlours. There were also yellow, red, and green rooms, and a best room.

The house in the 18th century was approached by an avenue leading from the south end of West Lavington High Street towards the south front of the house.

During Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie’s tenure he added wings to both sides of the house, the east containing new kitchens. He also changed the main entrance from the south to the north side of the house. Further additions to the wings were made c. 1899 by Edmund Clarke Schomberg, and c. 1904 the north front was decorated and the interior remodelled, by Sir Ernest Newton. During Lord Warrington’s tenure he enlarged the east wing to create a billiard room.

A colourwash postcard of Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington in about 1914.
This was during Lord Warrington’s tenure of the house.
© Market Lavington Museum

Around the Estate

To the south-east of the house stands an 18th-century stable block. Which more recently was converted into residential accommodation.

There is an extensive walled garden with associated buildings including a Glasshouse and store buildings.

Gardens and Grounds

There is not much detail of the gardens and grounds before the tenure of Lord Warrington.

The extensive gardens, which include a lake on the south-west, were last extensively remodelled by Lord and Lady Warrington under the direction of William Goldring a well-known landscape gardener.

Clyffe Hall Gardens c1920,
© Market Lavington Museum

Description of the Gardens and Grounds from the 1938 Sales Catalogue.

Terraces on the South Front

“Sheltered by high yew hedge. Beyond, spreading lawns afford ample space for tennis and are adorned by specimen ornamental and forest trees, including, beech, lime, oak and also mulberry and medlar. A clump of scots fir in the parkland beyond the stream is most ornamental. The stream practically intersects the grounds and is crossed by small brick and stone bridges. The banks are partly planted with flowering shrubs and bamboos and the lawns and shrubberies are carpeted with bulbs in the spring.”

Formal and Fountain Gardens

“With yew or thuja hedges, A well fruited walled kitchen garden with Vinery, Glasshouse and Lean-to Peach House, lies conveniently on a Southern Slope.”

Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington Sale Catalogue 25th May 1938.
© Market Lavington Museum

Gardeners at Clyffe Hall

We are fortunate to have some information about who some of the gardeners who tended and developed the gardens at Clyffe Hall.

NameRole*Period in Role *Owner/Occupier
Mr Richard LyeGardener1861Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay
Ms Elizabeth LyeWorked in Garden1861Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay
Mr James LyeGardener? – 1898Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay
Mr Thomas RumbleGardener1898 – ?Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay
or Edmund Clarke Schomberg
Mr Joseph RossGardenerc. 1918Lord Warrington
Mr Bill ElishaGardener1930’sLord Warrington
Mr Jack HoareGardener1930’sLord Warrington
Mr Jim HurkettGardener1930’sLord Warrington
Mr TittGardener1930’sLord Warrington
* Role and Period in Role have been gathered from a variety of sources and may not fully reflect their careers at Clyffe Hall.
Recollections from a Gardener at Clyffe Hall

“It was the happiest time of my life,” he said. “There were six of us in the garden, and everything was kept in perfect order. The birds were beautiful. There were sixty-nine wild duck on the lake, and I only had to whistle, and they would come to the lawn to be fed.”

Mr Jim Hurkett, Spent twenty-one years as gardener to Lord Warrington. © Market Lavington Museum Blog