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Home > New Search > Crichel House (Critchill House) (More Crichel)

Crichel House (Critchill House) (More Crichel)  England 
Moor Crichel, Dorset, England

Circa Date: 1744 w/major remodeling in 1770s

Status: Partially Extant
Details: A wing on the north side of the house was demolished in the 20th century.


Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

District Today
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village
Moor Crichel

Start Date
Completion Date
Circa Date
1744 w/major remodeling in 1770s

Engraving from Neale's Views of the Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, 1823

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

Engraving from Neale's Views of the Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, 1823
The House from an early 20th century postcard

Designed   Additions for H.G. Sturt
Date   1869

Designed   Alterations to Entrance for H.S. Sturt
Date   1831

Designed   Italian Garden

Designed   Rebuilt House after fire, together with Francis Cartwright, for Sir William Napier, Bt.
Date   1744-46

Designed   Rebuilt House after fire, together with John Bastard, for Sir William Napier, Bt.
Date   1744-46

Designed   Interiors of principal rooms for Humphrey Sturt
Date   1772-80

Extant / Listed / References

Extant Type
Partially Extant
Extant Details
A wing on the north side of the house was demolished in the 20th century.

House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Grade II
Country House:  Yes

Vitruvius Britannicus
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Country Life
LVII, 766 plan, 814, 874, 1925.
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Vol. I, 1818.
Access / Ownership / Seat

Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Historic Houses Association Member
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
Fax Number

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use
Private Home
Current Ownership Use / Details

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
Richard L. Chilton
A Past Seat(s) of
Humphrey Sturt, 18th century. Sir William Napier, Bt., 18th century. Lord Alington, late 19th-early 20th centuries; Alington-Sturt-Marten family here until 2013, for over 300 years.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
The manor house of More Crichel, circa 1615, burned in 1742 and was replaced by the present house.
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
House & Family History
In 1742 the original Tudor house of the Napier family was largely destroyed by fire. Crichel was rebuilt for Sir William Napier between 1744 and 1746 by John Bastard of Blandford and Francis Cartwright and extensively remodeled in the 1770s by Humphrey Sturt, who inherited the Estate in 1765. Sturt engaged James Wyatt to redesign the interiors; Wyatt employed Biagio Rebecca for painted décor, John Linnell and Ince and Mayhew for furniture, and John Devall for the chimneypieces. The result is a glorious success, particularly the riot of magnifcent polychrome ceilings. George IV, while Prince Regent, stayed at Crichel. Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, George IV's only legimate child, made Crichel House her home for a time under the care of Lady Rosslyn. Edward VII visited Crichel House in 1905. Between 1946 and 1961 Crichel was the home of Cranborne Chase School, a boarding independent school for girls (it moved to New Wardour Castle in 1951). The Crichel Estate is notable for the Crichel Down Affair, where the owners, Toby and Mary Anna Marten, took on the government and won the right to buy back land bought by compulsory purchase. Crichel was sold in 2013 for £34 million to American hedge fund billionaire Richard L. Chilton.
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
Circhel sits in a park of 400 acres and features a crescent-shaped lake covering 50 acres.
Chapel & Church

Location for Movies / TV
"Barry Lyndon" (1975). “Maurice” (1987 - the Crichel Boathouse was the boathouse were Maurice and Scudder meet). "Emma" (1996 - as Donwell Abbey, Mr. Knightley's home).

Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   1995
Reference   pgs. 109, 192, 231, 515, 1114

Author   Pym, John
Year Published   1995
Reference   pg. 60

There are no documents associated with this house.

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