HOUSE AND ESTATE
Chawton was the site of an ancient settlement dating back to the New Stone Age period. The Domesday Book of 1086 records that the manor with ploughed and wooded land belonged to Oda, a Hampshire thane, during the time of Edward the Confessor. Following the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror made Oda surrender Chawton to his Norman follower, Hugh de Port. De Port and his descendants held Chawton in direct male line for nearly three hundred years. Thereafter, it was held in the female line until the middle of the sixteenth century. During the thirteenth century, there were frequent visits to Chawton by King Henry III and then his son, King Edward I, the manor having become an important staging post for royal journeys between London and Winchester.
Present-day view of part of the manor of Chawton