Chilworth Manor
Chilworth Manor - - 547167.jpg
TypeCountry house
LocationBlacksmith Lane, Chilworth
Coordinates51°13′14.1″N 0°31′51.6″W / 51.220583°N 0.531000°W / 51.220583; -0.531000Coordinates: 51°13′14.1″N 0°31′51.6″W / 51.220583°N 0.531000°W / 51.220583; -0.531000
OS grid referenceTQ 02720 47855
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameChilworth Manor
Designated14 Jun 1967
Reference no.1188708
Chilworth Manor, Surrey is located in Surrey
Chilworth Manor, Surrey
Location of Chilworth Manor in Surrey

Chilworth Manor is a historic country house located midway between Chilworth, Surrey and St Martha's Hill to the north.[1] The manor is grade II listed by Historic England.[2]


It was recorded in the Domesday Book as a monastery. The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII and by 1580 was owned by William Morgan. William's son, John was knighted at Cadiz in 1596.[3]

Sir Ernest Randyll, whose family held Chilworth for over a century, married John's daughter. During the time when Chilworth Manor was owned by the Randylls, the South front was built. This is the earliest recognisable part of the Manor – the architect is unknown. Morgan Randyll[4] was MP for Guildford from 1680 to 1712. As a result of the costs involved in the Elections, the property was sold to Richard Houlditch, a director of the South Sea Company. After losses involved with the 1720 South Sea Bubble, the manor was again sold.

In 1725 the widowed Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, became the owner. She added the Marlborough Wing, developed a tiered garden excavated in the sloping hillside and still known as the "Duchess's Garden". It then passed from her grandson, John Spencer, through inheritances to the Dukes of Northumberland who held it until the 1930s. It was then acquired by Alfred Mildmay who carried out major renovations to the building.[5]

Walls of Chilworth Manor garden
Walls of Chilworth Manor garden

Sir Lionel and Lady Heald bought the manor in 1945 and lived there for over 60 years. Elected MP for Chertsey in 1950, he was Attorney-General in Churchill's post-war government. She worked for many charitable causes including the National Garden Scheme of which she was chairwoman.

Since Lady Heald's death in 2004 [6] extensive restoration work has been carried out and the garden, fittingly, opened as part of the National Garden Scheme.

In popular culture

John Bunyan, who lived nearby at one time, is reputed to have based The Hill of Difficulty in Pilgrims Progress on the path from the manor to St Martha's Chapel.[7]

The house has been featured in a number of films and TV series over the years.[8]




  1. ^ Leaflet published by manor as part of National Garden Scheme open day May 2008.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1188708)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  3. ^ Thomas Birch, Memorials of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, vol. 2 (London, 1754), p. 50.
  4. ^ Members Constituencies Parliaments Surveys. "RANDYLL, Morgan (1649–aft.1735), of Chilworth, Surr". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  5. ^ Passino, Carla. "Chilworth Manor | Fresh on the Market | Houses for sale, properties for sale". Country Life. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Lady Heald". Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  7. ^ "History of Chilworth Manor, Surrey". Picnics & Pimms. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "Chilworth Manor, Chilworth, Guildford, Surrey, England, UK"". IMDB. Retrieved 28 April 2018.