Purton House is an impressive Georgian manor house that is the much loved home to the Barker Family.
Having been in the family since 1976, the house has been used for many weddings, celebrations and events over the years, and its owners know just how well the place lends itself to a party!
Part of the unique appeal of Purton House is that you can have exclusive use of the formal wing of the house for your special event, whether you’re looking to organise a wedding, anniversary party, business meeting or photo shoot.The house
One of Purton House’s greatest assets are the extensive and beautiful gardens surrounding the property. Full of interest and intrigue, they make Purton House a truly special venue for your wedding reception, party or photo shoot.The grounds
A history of Purton House
Written by Mrs Barker, the owner
“It has been suggested to me that I write a short history of Purton House, my family’s home since 1976. Much of the information comes from a book called ‘The History of Purton’ written by Mrs Ethel Richardson, who lived here from 1908-1922. She wrote the book after the death of her son on the battlefield in the First World War to help her in her bereavement. One of the gates into the walled garden was erected in memory of him.
Purton House was built in 1810, two years too early to be called Regency I am told. That said, many of the features are very much in the Regency style, but these could have been added at a later date. It was built on the site of an earlier building known as Dr Goddard’s House. The owner was a member of a well known Swindon family. The house was partly burned down, legend has it that it might have been done deliberately! From a drawing of the original house it appears that the house, although quite substantial, was of a simple design with small windows and unimpressive entrance and lower ceilings with no adornments and built of local stone.
The new ‘Purton House’ was constructed of Bath stone, had large sash windows, high ceilings and much larger rooms.
From Mrs Richardson’s book it seems that there were substantial improvements made to the house in 1840. These included the addition of an impressive portico, supported on Doric pillars to make a new grand entrance on the west side of the house, the enlargement of the drawing room and the bedroom above to include a large bay window and balcony. Possibly at the same time there was also the construction of a new staircase made of stone cantilevered steps balanced one above the other with a wrought iron balustrade. The main hall receives light from a glass cupola set in the roof.
At this time, many specimen trees were planted including two cedars of Lebanon, a weeping ash, various conifers including a large redwood, a copper beach , a lime tree, a Spanish chestnut and a magnificent plain tree which could have been planted at an earlier date as it is extremely large. Unfortunately we lost some trees in the hurricane of 1987 and a few elms to Dutch Elm disease.
The house passed though many hands over the years. The only person of note to live at Purton House was the White Rajah of Sarawak, John Brookes. However he only stayed for 3 years (1896-1899) as it is told that his wife could not cope with the church bells which were rung for the whole day when somebody died.
When I bought the house in 1976 it was in a somewhat dilapidated state, and several of the rooms needed updating. My husband and I love collecting French antiques, and we have enjoyed furnishing the house over the years.
I have 6 children, and 22 grandchildren, so the house is often used for our own family functions. There are regular games of hide ands seek in the Dining Room when the youngest of my grandchildren come to stay, and Christmas is always a wonderful occasion.
This house was built for parties – it lends itself beautifully to entertaining, to having fun and having friends and family all around you. That’s why we’ve opened up these rooms for public use, so that many can experience the unique setting and wonderful atmosphere of a wedding or event at Purton House.”