Frampton Court Estate

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The Clifford family, their history & the Estate

For nearly a thousand years Frampton Court Estate and the Clifford family have been at the heart of this ancient settlement, and the splendid buildings of the Estate around Rosamund's Green provide the architectural focal points of the village. The two grandest houses on the Estate - the striking timber-framed 16th century Manor and the splendid 18th century Frampton Court - face each other across the village green, reputed to be the longest in England. Tucked away in Frampton Court's Grade 1 listed park and garden is the stunning Orangery, a beautiful and eccentric 18th century garden house, while the magnificent 16th century Wool Barn dominates the Estate farmyard at The Manor.

The modern-day ethos of the Clifford family is one of careful stewardship of a traditional, sustainable English country estate. The Estate comprises 1500 acres of farmed arable land, woodlands, lakes and wetlands - which provide wonderful walks, riding, angling, sailing, shooting, bird-watching and hunting, and include two Sites of Special Scientific Interest - as well as many of the village's most handsome buildings.
Rollo Clifford, who currently runs the Estate, works tirelessly to maintain a business-like approach to rural estate management whilst retaining a pastoral landscape for the benefit of both the community and wildlife. The Cliffords all have a great sense of place, and help in a hands-on manner with the many diverse enterprises on the Estate - Janie produces delectable fruit and veg in the garden at The Manor, lays on scrumptious lunches and teas for tours at The Wool Barn, and oversees the management of the Gloucester Old Spot pigs, which produce delicious delicacies for the breakfast table at Frampton Court, and the flock of pure-bred and cross-bred sheep; when he's not embroiled in estate matters Rollo tends to the free-range hens; and their four children all help out with house tours, breakfasts for guests at The Court, riding tours around the Estate, preparing The Orangery for holiday guests, as well as events at The Wool Barn and The Park, and, of course, last-minute gardening...

Gardens form an important part of the history and life of Frampton Court Estate.The Park and garden at Frampton Court is Grade 1 listed. The highlight of the garden is architectural rather than horticultural, namely the breathtaking 18th century Orangery with its elegant ornamental canal. The Manor garden is more intimate with its pretty Frampton-brick walls and is a plantsman's delight boasting a host of unusual plants. Both gardens can be used as delightful locations for photographs for wedding parties at The Park or The Wool Barn.

On an artistic note, Frampton is home to the Frampton Flora, an exquisite collection of 19th century water-colours executed by several generations of Clifford ladies, and housed at Frampton Court.

The Cliffords can trace their ancestry in Frampton back to the 11th century. The family connection began in 1086 when William the Conqueror granted lands in Frampton and Herefordshire to one of his followers, Drogo Fitz Pons. Drogo died without issue shortly afterwards and was succeeded by his brother Richard in 1089, and later by Richard's son, Walter de Clifford, Baron of the Welsh Marches. Walter took his name from his position as Lord of Clifford Castle in Herefordshire where the remains of the castle still stand - on a cliff, above a ford.

It was at this early date that the family name of Clifford was established in Frampton. Walter was father of Jane Clifford whose birthplace is understood to have been on the site of the Bower at The Manor. Jane was reputedly the mistress of King Henry II who named her his 'Rose of the World', later known as Fair Rosamund. The magnificent village green in Frampton is named after Jane as 'Rosamund's Green'.

The Estate continued in the Clifford family for generations, and in 1684 John Clifford left it to his grandson William Clutterbuck. The Clutterbucks were successful clothiers from Eastington, and William’s son, Richard, built the present Frampton Court in the early 1730s. Richard made his fortune as Head of the Custom House in Bristol; he died unmarried and the Estate passed to his sister’s grandson Nathaniel Winchcombe. In 1801, by Royal Consent, Nathaniel took the name and arms of Clifford and later passed the Estate to his son Henry Clifford Clifford. Henry married Elizabeth Wallington, who brought her fortune to the family as well as beautiful china and furniture, which is still in the house. They produced eleven children.

The Clifford family flourished during the 19th century, and the high-point was the artistic talent of Henry’s sisters and daughters who painted the exquisite botanical water-colours known as the Frampton Flora, which are on display at The Court.

In the 20th century, Major Henry Clifford was killed in action during the First World War with the Gloucestershire Yeomanry in Palestine, and left a baby daughter, Henriette, to succeed him. Henriette married Peter Haggie, who changed his name to Clifford in 1942 following the birth of their son David. They had two more sons Rollo and Robin. Peter and Henriette made their family home at The Manor - the house had been a tenanted farmhouse until after the Second World War - and in 1963 they moved to Frampton Court.

Rollo Clifford is the present owner of Frampton Court Estate and lives with his wife Janie and their children at The Manor from where he runs the Estate.

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