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Sydmonton Court Chapel

Sydmonton, Ecchinswell
Newbury, Berkshire RG20 9NJ United Kingdom

At the time of the Domesday Survey the hundred of Kingsclere comprised Ewhurst, Wolverton, Ecchinswell, and Sydmonton. The place-name is probably derived from the personal name Sydeman and OE tun (farm) A man of this name signed a charter relating to Ecchinswell in 931. By the late 11th century Sydmonton formed part of the estates of Romsey Abbey. In the 1530s the manor was given to the Kingsmill family by Henry VIII, who held it over 400 years – until 1978.

The estate map of 1757 shows a nucleated village located around the church to the south of Sydmonton Court. The house, church, stables and kitchen gardens with the farm comprise the core of the original village. The common fields were enclosed by agreement in the late 18th century and in 1780 purchases made to extend the park. By the early 19th century it would appear that the village was completely removed from the area of the Court, leaving only the estate buildings to the west and the Home Farm to the south. The mansion is an E shaped mansion with 16th,17th 18th and 19th century features and was entirely remodelled in 1837.

Sydmonton Court retains clear evidence of different periods in the evolution of the estate and is an example of 18th century estate ‘rationalisation’. It contains the elements of a 19th century landscape – open parkland, lake and pond, walled kitchen gardens and conservatory, small wilderness, and mature trees, with the main phase of development laid out between 1780 and 1900, The estate remained within the Kingsmill family for 430 years, until it was purchased by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1978.

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