Stourton Caundle | Then and Now

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Step back in time with our ‘Then and Now’ feature, where vintage postcards meet modern-day reality. Explore the past and present on the same page, and see the evolution of familiar local places.

There’s a chilling story about the seemingly-vicious and vindictive Lord Staunton. In 1557, the catholic lord of the manor ended a long-running dispute with his protestant neighbours, the Hartgills, with a double murder. He arranged a public meeting by saying he was ready to pay them the sums of money and return their cattle, as ordered, and to end all disputes between them – but instead took the opportunity to seize the Hartgills, hold them captive and then have them killed (full story here). The brutal crime lead to his imprisonment in the Tower of London, before he was hanged in Salisbury market place. His widow, Anne, was left with a crumbling ‘castle’ in Staunton Caundle. She pleaded with Queen Mary I, stressing her late husband’s loyalty and that her only home was in a “ruynous” and “corrupt” state – she was given ten days to raise the money to the value of the estate. Fast forward, and there’s hardly anything left of the castle today. The oldest map of the village from the 1500s shows it next to St. Peter’s Church, but by 1600, it was gone. Its stones likely ended up in other buildings around the village.

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