Wiltshire county council

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bulford manor

bulford manor

Bulford Manor stands on land that was owned by the Abbots of Amesbury. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, the land was conveyed to private ownership. The first house on the site was built at the end of the 16th or very early 17th Century in Tudor style by the Duke family of Lake. Joseph Addison based his character Sir Roger de Coverley on one of that family – ‘Devil’ Duke, the 17th Century Wiltshire Magistrate. All that remains of the original house is the front, which is a good example of the architecture of the period with its four handsome gables and stone-framed windows and a rainwater hopper head dated AD 1724.


The house and considerable land remained in the possession of this branch of the Duke family until the mid-17th Century when it passed to the Southbys. They added a wing to the garden side of the house in about 1748, but it was not until 1893, when Mr James Ledger-Hill bought the Lordship of the Manor, that the newest South East wing wasbulford manor added, including the domestic wing and stables. Over the stable yard can be seen a crest of the Southbys and the Ledger-Hill monogram, JLH.


In 1898, Salisbury Plain was bought as an Army training area and the Village and Manor of Bulford were included in the purchase. The house was used as a Garrison Officers’ Club, and later became the residence of the Commander Royal Artillery, 3rd Division and then the Commander 1st Armoured Division. During the second World War it was put to a variety of uses, including a home for evacuees from London, and was used by the ATS and convalescents. Since 1949 the Manor has been the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief, although this is coming to an end.