Sunday 11 January 2015

(153) Antrobus of Amesbury Abbey, Lower Cheam House and Eaton Hall, baronets

Antrobus of Amesbury and Eaton
The Antrobus family plausibly claim descent from a medieval Cheshire gentry family based at Antrobus Hall in Great Budworth, which Henry Antrobus sold to the Venables family in 1460. They remained in the area but with a lower status through the 16th and 17th centuries until Edmund Antrobus of Odd Rode in Astbury, reputedly the great-great-grandson of Henry Antrobus, repurchased some of the ancestral lands in about 1700. Edmund's son, Philip Antrobus (1677-1749) and grandson, Philip Antrobus (1720-88) were dyers at Congleton and seem to have become increasingly prosperous. None of the second Philip's four surviving sons followed him into the family business, however: Edmund, Philip and John moved to London and pursued careers in banking and finance; Thomas, about whom least is known, may have joined the East India Company and later became a merchant in Canton (China), where he died, perhaps in the 1790s.

The three London-based brothers were all successful. Edmund (1752-1826), the eldest, became a clerk in Thomas Coutts' bank, was taken into partnership in 1777, and when he died in 1826 was a baronet and left a fortune estimated at £700,000 and newly-acquired estates at Amesbury (Wilts) and Rutherford (Roxburghshire). Philip (1754-1816) set himself up as a stockbroker and founded the firm which later became one of the great London broking businesses, James Capel & Co. By the 1780s he was able to buy an estate at Cheam in Surrey, close enough to London for easy commuting, and in the 1790s he built there a typical 'cit's country box' - a house three bays square with a service wing to one side. A little later he also bought the Eaton estate near Congleton in Cheshire as well as land near Leek in Staffordshire, perhaps with a view to a future retirement to his home county. When he died unmarried in 1816, however, all his real estate passed to his elder brother, Edmund.  The third brother, John (1761-94), who after a brief period in stockbroking also joined Coutts Bank and was taken into partnership in 1784, was the only one who married. In 1793, on a visit to his in-laws at Saint Hill House (Sussex), he was involved in an accident at a tollgate in which he was badly crushed when his horse rolled on him. He lingered in a coma for some months and during this period his wife also died after giving birth to their second son. The two infants were brought up by their bachelor uncles and treated to all intents and purposes as their own sons: for example, when Sir Edmund Antrobus was given his baronetcy in 1815 he arranged a special remainder in their favour. The elder nephew, later Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt., joined Coutts Bank and became a partner in 1816; the younger, Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus (1793-1861), entered the diplomatic service.  When the first Sir Edmund died in 1826 the four estates which he and his brother had amassed were distributed between the two nephews, Edmund receiving Amesbury, Rutherford (where there was never a seat) and Cheam and Gibbs, Eaton Hall and the other lands in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

In the 1820s the 17th and 18th century house at Amesbury was in poor condition, and in 1834 a major outbreak of dry rot was discovered. Sir Edmund Antrobus decided it was uneconomic to repair the building and had it pulled down and  rebuilt by Thomas Hopper to a design which reproduced elements of its predecessor, albeit on a rather larger scale. Work was in progress from 1834-41 but was then paused, only to resume in 1857-60, after Hopper's death. When Sir Edmund died in 1870, his estates were once again divided, with his heir, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1818-99), 3rd bt., receiving Amesbury and Rutherford, and his second son, Hugh Lindsay Antrobus (1823-99), who had followed his father into Coutts Bank and eventually became its Chairman, receiving Lower Cheam Manor. Hugh Antrobus had no son to succeed him and the Cheam house seems to have been let after his death; it was demolished in about 1933. Three of his four daughters married into country houses, and the only one who remained single - the disabled but redoubtable Elizabeth Antrobus - built her own, to the design of Detmar Blow and his partner Fernand Billerey: the charming and elegant Charles Hill Court at Tilford (Surrey) of 1908, which was designed around a lift allowing her easy access throughout the house. Coutts money was still pounding through the veins of this branch of the family.

Charles Hill Court, Tilford (Surrey), designed by Detmar Blow in 1908 for Elizabeth Antrobus.
Charles Hill Court: the oval library.

The main branch of the family was less flourishing by the early 20th century. The 3rd baronet had eschewed a business career for a life in politics, becoming MP for East Surrey, 1841-47 and for Wilton 1855-77. He had three sons: Sir Edmund Antrobus (1848-1915), 4th bt., who became a Colonel in the Grenadier Guards and whose only son was killed at Ypres a few months before his father died; Robert Lindsay Antrobus (1857-91), who entered Coutts Bank as a junior partner, but shot himself for no obvious reason at the age of 33; and Sir Cosmo Gordon Antrobus (1859-1939), 5th bt., who became a barrister on the Western Circuit, and who remained unmarried. In 1916-22, the Amesbury and Rutherford estates, including Stonehenge, were largely disposed of through a series of sales, and Sir Cosmo was left with only a couple of hundred acres around Amesbury Abbey and West Amesbury House. When he died in 1939, the baronetcy and this patrimony passed to his second cousin, Sir Philip Humphrey Antrobus (1876-1968), 6th bt., who was a grandson of the 2nd baronet. He had been a stockbroker, but was of retirement age when he inherited, and had to shepherd the house and reduced estate through the dark years after the Second World War when there seemed so little future for landed estates and country houses. Amesbury Abbey was turned into flats in the 1960s, and Sir Philip moved into West Amesbury House on the estate. He and his wife had no children, so when he died aged 91, the baronetcy and estate again passed to a distant relative, this time a South African-born great-grandson of Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus of Eaton Hall, Sir Philip Coutts Antrobus (1908-95), 7th bt, who sold Amesbury Abbey in 1979 for conversion to a nursing home. His son, Sir Edward Philip Antrobus (b. 1938), is the 8th and current baronet.

The second orphaned son of John Antrobus (1761-94) was Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus (1793-1861), who after a fifteen-year career in the diplomatic service and as a Tory MP in the unreformed House of Commons, came into the Eaton Hall estate in 1826. He at once set about rebuilding the house in the Elizabethan style to the designs of Lewis Wyatt. The house that resulted, although grand and fashionable in its day, strikes modern eyes as rather coarse, and in striking contrast to the pretty travelling carriage which carried him around Europe in his days as a diplomat. His son, John Coutts Antrobus (1829-1916) was remarkable chiefly for marrying three times and producing no less than fourteen children over thirty-five years. After he died, the Eaton estate passed in turn to his eldest son, Crawfurd John Antrobus (1862-1943), who worked as a land agent during his father's lifetime, and who died without children; and to his youngest son, Col. Ronald Henry Antrobus (1891-1980), who sold most of the grounds for gravel extraction in the post-Second World War period. By the time of his death, the house stood almost on the edge of a precipice over the quarry, and his son, John Ronald Lindsay Antrobus (1926-2000) sold the house for demolition by the quarry company so that they could extract the rich deposits underneath the house.

Amesbury Abbey, Wiltshire

Amesbury Abbey today: this aerial view of the house from the rear emphasizes the large scale of the Victorian house.
The house is the successor to Amesbury Priory, a nunnery founded in 980 and refounded as a priory of the Order of Fontevrault in 1177. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the site was granted to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford (brother to the Queen, Jane Seymour), who between 1541 and 1543 took down most of the priory buildings and sold the materials, retaining only the Prior's Lodging and some stables and outbuildings. Although Seymour (as Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of the Realm) has a place in architectural history for initiating the building of the innovative Somerset House in London, he did not have the opportunity to build a new house at Amesbury before he was accused of treason, forfeited his estates, and died on the block in 1552. His son, Edward Seymour (1537-1621) was restored to favour by Queen Elizabeth, re-created Earl of Hertford, and recovered the Amesbury estate. In 1560, when he leased the estate to his steward, the house was said to be 'in great ruin', and between 1595 and 1599 a new mansion house was erected by the Earl.  No illustration of this house is known.

'Diana Her Hous 1600' from a photograph of c.1880. Diana's house is one of two surviving buildings from the Earl of Hertford's Amesbury of 1595-1607

All that survives of this period are the two gatehouses to the east, on the Pewsey road, called Kent House and Diana's House. Both are built of flint with stone dressings, are irregularly triangular in shape and have a higher stair turret, and both have ogee-shaped roofs; Diana's House has the inscription "Diana Her Hous 1600" and Kent House, which was enlarged in the 18th century (perhaps by Flitcroft in 1761), is dated 1607.  In the wall next to Diana's house is an arch with a strapwork cresting which is likely to be of similar date. There seems until c.1710 also to have been an another building in a similar style with an inscription on a four-centred stone doorhead in lettering identical in character to that on Diana's house and no doubt related to it.  William Benson leased Amesbury Abbey for 21 years from 1708 while his new house at Wilbury was being built. His lease allowed him to demolish two summerhouses and a gatehouse near the George Inn, provided he replaced them with 'a handsome and convenient gate', and the gatepiers of this period next to Kent House, with alternating rocky rustication, may be his response to this requirement. Fortunately, the summerhouses (i.e. Diana's House and Kent House) were spared but the gatehouse was taken down.  The materials seem to have been reconstructed by Benson as a folly on Tower Hill, two miles from his new house at Wilbury; recent archaeology provides some slight evidence that this consisted of a central rectangular tower with hexagonal turrets to either side. This tower itself had collapsed by 1839 and some of the stonework, including a spiral staircase, was reused in Newton Tony church in 1843-44, but part of the inscription referred to above survived to be photographed in the mid 20th century and says "...His Tower 1600". 

The inscription on Diana's House at Amesbury, 1600.
Image: English Heritage. Some rights reserved
The lost inscription from Benson's Folly at Wilbury.
  Image: English Heritage. Some rights reserved

The traditional explanation of the Diana inscription is that it refers to a mistress of the Earl of Hertford, but the former existence of another building with a complementary inscription makes it more probable that these were features in a now lost scheme of symbolic meaning in the landscape setting of the Earl's new house.  It is worth noting that the Earl - who had an intermittently difficult relationship with Queen Elizabeth and her court officials - provided a highly emblematic entertainment for her when she visited his house at Elvetham (Hants) in 1591, and it is intriguing to speculate to whom the gatehouse/tower was dedicated: the other half of the doorway would have provided space for quite a long name. 

Although the Amesbury estate was seized by the Commonwealth authorities in the 1650s, the Marquess of Hertford was allowed to retain the house for his own use, and in anticipation of his restoration to his estates he employed John Webb to design a new house in the late 1650s, although work may not have been begun until after 1660, the year in which he was restored to the Dukedom of Somerset and died a few weeks later. 

Amesbury Abbey: the entrance front of the John Webb house of c.1661 as illustrated in Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725.

Webb built a new nine-bay house in the pure Classical style of Inigo Jones, with a pedimented giant portico of four columns rising above a rusticated ground floor. The first floor was rusticated too, and there was a low attic storey above. The house had a hipped roof with a domed belvedere on it. The compact plan was neatly contrived, and drew particular praise from C.R. Cockerell in the early 19th century:
Plan regular and remarkably elegant. Saloon above stairs delightful with handsome dressings to doors, chimney pieces and ceiling - contrivance of the staircase with backstairs in the newel the most convenient and elegant that can be conceived... There are offices below as well as abundant bed ro[oms] above & I consider that for economy of convenience with proportion & effect, it may challenge any Ho[use] in England ancient or modern.
Amesbury Abbey: the ground and first floor plans of the John Webb house, from Vitruvius Britannicus, 1725.

The remarkable staircase appears to have been the starting point for the plan of the house; coupled with the provision of transverse corridors on both main floors, it minimised the amount of space given up to internal circulation and allowed Webb to make the rear rooms self-contained apartments with bedrooms and dressing rooms, separate from the formal sequence of hall, main stair and saloon. The first-floor saloon rose into the chamber storey above, giving space for a generous coved ceiling which in its form and painted decoration recalled the cube rooms at nearby Wilton House. The house was highly regarded in the 18th century; the elevations and plans were published by both Colen Campbell (1725) and William Kent (1727), and it seems to have inspired William Benson, briefly the tenant, to build one of the first neo-Palladian houses a few miles away at Wilbury in 1710

Amesbury Abbey showing the wings by Henry Flitcroft; from a drawing by Buckler in 1805, published in 1826.

In 1725, the house passed to the 3rd Duke of Queensberry, for whom wings either side of the main front were added by Henry Flitcroft; the east wing was built first and was apparently finished by 1750; the west wing followed in 1757-61. The form of the wings, set back slightly from the plane of the entrance front and unobtrusive, suggests considerable empathy with the original building. At the rear of each wing were built low towers, which gracefully echoed Webb's stair tower by including round windows in their top storey. The wings were designed to address the complaint of visitors to the Webb house that it contained only one good room (the first floor saloon) by providing more entertaining space, and there was a drawing room above a library in the east wing and a dining room (above a new kitchen) in the west wing. By 1787 a commentator found the house had 'numerous and superb' apartments, 'all richly furnished and many of them fitted up in a splendid modern stile'.

From 1778 the Douglas family used Amesbury little, if at all, and it was rented out; by 1801 John Britton found the grounds overgrown. After the house was acquired by Sir Edmund Antrobus, a local architect, John Flook, made proposals for alterations in the Webb block, and for additional service accommodation. But nothing was done because in 1834 a major outbreak of dry rot was discovered, and it was concluded that the house was in too bad a state to restore.  

Amesbury Abbey, as rebuilt by Thomas Hopper, 1834-41, from a photograph of c.1880.

The task of rebuilding it was entrusted to Thomas Hopper (d. 1856), who incorporated some of the original walls and some 17th and 18th century fittings; work was begun in 1834-41 but suspended with the house unfinished and only completed in 1857-60. In keeping with Tim Mowl's nickname for the architect ("Hopper the Whopper"), the new house is on a considerably larger scale than its predecessor, although the entrance front retained the overall style and some of the features of the Webb house. Hopper demolished Flitcroft's wings, but kept to a nine bay front, while making a portico of six instead of four columns, with a porte-cochere on the ground floor. He maintained the rustication of the ground floor and first floor, and the placing of the main rooms on the first floor, but increased the height of the second floor and altered the roof completely. The heavy window surrounds on the top floor, the side elevations with a giant order supporting an attic storey above the cornice, and of course the big central tower are all Hopper's designs.  

Amesbury Abbey in 1979. Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.

Under the tower is a dramatic staircase hall, clearly inspired by that at Kings Weston, which Hopper had altered earlier in his career. The galleries of the hall gave access to a drawing room on the east side, a dining room on the west side, and an enormous saloon (74' x 22') which occupied the whole of the south front and gave onto the balcony of the porte-cochere. The saloon has been divided up, but the big dining room survives, with a heavily-moulded plaster ceiling. The rear of the house comprises the service accommodation, which was extended in 1857-60. Further works were carried out in 1904 by Detmar Blow, who altered some of the main interiors while copying the details and mouldings used by Hopper.

Charles Bridgeman's design for laying out the park at Amesbury, 1738.
Image: Bodleian Library MS Gough Drawing a.3*, fol. 32.

In the early 18th century, and almost certainly from when it was built, the house stood within walled enclosures: that on the north-east contained gardens, and on the south there was a forecourt with a semicircular south perimeter from which a double avenue led to the church. The grounds were enlarged in the 1730s and again in the 1760s by the Duke of Queensberry, who bought land north of the River Avon and the Iron Age hillfort known as Vespasian's Camp to the west, and were landscaped by Charles Bridgeman, whose plan is dated 1738 and who received payments from 1731-38. Little if anything of his layout survives, but it was certainly carried out, as 18th century maps attest. 

View of Gay's Cave on the hillside to the west of the house, from a photograph of c.1880.
The grotto is now a building at risk.

The grotto known as Gay's Cave* halfway up the hillside across the river to the west of the house is shown on his plan and was perhaps designed by Henry Flitcroft, who received payments over a long period for work at Amesbury. The Chinese Temple on a bridge across the river is recorded as early as 1748, but was said in 1757 to be unfinished; Sir William Chambers was consulted about its decoration in 1772 and it has often been thought to be a rebuilding by him of that date, but there is no warrant for this in the surviving correspondence. It is a most attractive square flint structure, built above the water, with oval windows and a wooden veranda, and was restored in 1986.  

Amesbury Abbey: the Chinese temple from a photograph of 1880.
Amesbury Abbey: the Chinese temple in c.2013. Image: Keith Kellett.

The Baluster Bridge is dated 1777 but stands on the site of a bridge on the Bridgeman plan; this does seem to be a rebuilding, and is attributed to John Smeaton. The gatepiers next to the church, which have pairs of Tuscan columns with niches between, are believed to be John Webb's original forecourt gates, resited here between 1773 and 1805 when the circular, walled forecourt of the house which Webb had created was removed.

Amesbury Abbey: the gatepiers near the church are believed to be Webb's forecourt gatepiers of the 1660s.

In the 1960s the house was divided into flats, and in 1979 it was sold to J.V. Cornelius-Read, who converted it into a nursing home, a purpose which it continues to serve.

Descent: Crown granted 1537 to Edward Seymour (c.1500-52), 1st Earl of Hertford and 1st Duke of Somerset; to son, Edward Seymour (1537-1621), 1st Earl of Hertford; to grandson, William Seymour (1588-1660), 2nd Earl & 1st Marquess of Hertford; restored to his great-grandfather's dukedom as 2nd Duke of Somerset, 1660; to grandson, William Seymour (1652-71), 3rd Duke of Somerset; to uncle, John Seymour (c.1633-75), 4th Duke of Somerset; to niece, Elizabeth (d. 1697), wife of Thomas Bruce (1656-1741), 2nd Earl of Ailesbury & 3rd Earl of Elgin, who leased the house to Francis Boyle (1623-99), 1st Viscount Shannon; to son, Hon. Charles Bruce, who leased the house to William Benson in 1708 and sold it in 1720 to Henry Boyle (1669-1725), 1st Baron Carleton; to nephew, Charles Douglas (1698-1778), 3rd Duke of Queensberry & 2nd Duke of Dover; to cousin once removed, William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberry (1724-1810), who leased it to Sir Elijah Impey, 1792-94 and to a community of English nuns from Louvain, 1794-99; to Archibald James Edward Douglas (1748-1827), 1st Baron Douglas of Douglas, who sold 1824/5 for £145,000 to Sir Edmund Antrobus (d. 1826), 1st bt.; to nephew, Sir Edmund William Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt; to son, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1818-99), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1848-1915), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir Cosmo Gordon Antrobus (1859-1939), 5th bt., who sold most of the estate in 1915; to cousin, Sir Philip Humphrey Antrobus (1876-1968), 6th bt.; to second cousin once removed, Sir Philip Coutts Antrobus (1908-95), 7th bt., who sold 1979 to J.V. Cornelius-Read, who converted the house into a residential nursing home.
* The poet and playwright John Gay was a particular protégé of the Duchess of Queensberry and is said to have written The Beggar's Opera in the gardens at Amesbury.

Lower Cheam Manor, Surrey

The original manor house of East Cheam was an ancient structure, said to have been built for Thomas Fromound in the late 16th century. Daniel Lysons, in The Environs of London, 1792, recorded that: 
"The hall remains in its original form, the upper part being surrounded by an open wooden gallery: adjoining the hall, are the buttery and cellar with ancient doors: in the parlour is some rich mantled carving. The chapel is converted into a billiard-room. This house and premises, called the Site of the Manor of East Cheam, were held under the crown by the Fromounds, after the manor itself was granted to Lord Montague. They continued in possession of it till the middle of the last century. Bartholomew Fromound, who was fined the sum of 240l. by James I. as a recusant, died in 1641, and was the last of that family settled at Cheam. The premises afterwards became the property of the Petres, and were sold a few years ago by Lord Petre to Philip Antrobus, Esq. the present proprietor."
Lower Cheam House: painted by Frank Worker, 1932. Image: Sutton Museum & Heritage Service
Very shortly after Lysons published his description the old house was demolished and replaced by a square three bay villa with a lower service wing to the north, built by an unknown architect for Philip Antrobus (d. 1816). The entrance front was given strong central emphasis by a slightly projecting porch with coupled Tuscan columns supporting a first floor balcony; this in turn stood in front of a first floor window treated as an aedicule with columns and a pediment, with a Diocletian window in the attic above, and a broad chimneystack on the roof. This house was apparently demolished in 1933 and most of the land was later developed for housing.  The house had a small park attached, parts of the boundary wall of which may survive.

Lower Cheam House, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1866-67
Descent: sold in 1780s to Philip Antrobus (1754-1816) who rebuilt the house c.1795; to brother, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1752-1826), 1st bt.; to nephew, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt.; to younger son, Hugh Lindsay Antrobus (1823-99); to widow, Kathryn Mary Antrobus (1829-1900)...

Eaton Hall, Congleton, Cheshire

The earliest house here of which anything is known was the small Georgian box bought by the Antrobus family in the early 19th century. In 1813 S.P. Cockerell drew up a scheme to enlarge the house and remodel the park for Sir Edmund Antrobus, 1st bt., but nothing was done until after Sir Edmund died in 1826 and the house passed to his nephew, Gibbs Crawford Antrobus. He obtained alternative schemes from Lewis Wyatt and Thomas Lee (formerly Wyatt's clerk of works), but chose Wyatt's proposal. Antrobus at first wanted to enlarge the existing house, but was persuaded to build anew on a different site, and in the Elizabethan style.  

Eaton Hall, Eaton-by-Congleton: entrance front

Eaton Hall, Eaton-by-Congleton: garden front shortly before demolition

The house that resulted is clothed in diapered brick, with shaped gables and stone mullioned windows, but it is still essentially a classical house in fancy dress. Only on the entrance front was an effort made to disguise the basic symmetry with towers, bay windows and an attic over the porch. At the time it was built in 1829-31, Wyatt was also building Cranage Hall in the same county and the two houses have many similarities. The interior was plainly Classical with rather coarse plaster cornices and high mahogany double doors between the main rooms. Much of the estate was sold in 1917 and later in the 20th century the grounds were sold for quarrying, sand workings gradually eating their way to within a few feet of the house.  Eaton Hall was ultimately demolished in 1981 to allow the extraction of the silica sand underneath. 

Eaton Hall, Eaton by Congleton: silica sand extraction in the park eating away the grounds around the house in the 1970s.
Image: Neville Slater.

Eaton Hall, as depicted on the 6" Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1871-73.

Proposals for landscaping by John Webb in 1808 and by Cockerell in 1813 appear not to have been implemented, but in the later 19th century the Ordnance Survey map shows clear signs of another scheme having been executed.

Descent: sold to Philip Antrobus (1754-1816) before 1807; to brother, Sir Edmund Antrobus (1752-1826), 1st bt.; to nephew, Gibbs Crawford Antrobus (1793-1861); to son, John Coutts Antrobus (1829-1916); to son, Crawfurd John Antrobus (1862-1943); to brother, Col. Ronald Henry Antrobus (1891-1980), who sold for demolition and quarrying subject to a life tenancy.

West Amesbury House, Wiltshire

Watercolour of West Amesbury House by Robert Kemm, 1860.
Image: Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum.

The house incorporates as its west (left-hand) wing a small mid 16th century farmhouse with thick walls of rubble and a five-bayed roof with arch-braced collar trusses and curved wind braces. The first floor was originally a single room open to the roof. The house was altered in the early 17th century and two walls of panelling of this date are preserved. In 1735 the house was bought by the 3rd Duke of Queensberry and a large eastern extension was built and the original house was refitted. 

West Amesbury House: south front, 1924. Image: English Heritage NMR BB008176

It is generally assumed that at the same the gabled south front of the old house was rebuilt as part of a new symmetrical south front with a narrow slightly recessed entrance. However, the watercolour of 1860 by Robert Kemm (1837-95) reproduced above shows a very different arrangement of this front. This must either represent the employment of artistic licence or imply that the front as it currently stands is a Victorian alteration. The consistent pattern of chequered stone and flint, with mullioned windows and tall gables, suggests a deliberate attempt to give the house an appearance of antiquity, which might be more consistent with a 19th century date. We know from an article of 1868 by an author whose father had occupied the house that that in 1824-25 a range of building to the east was demolished, and that "about twenty-five years since, the court in front was filled up by building some rooms": this would put the alteration to c.1843 which is a plausible date for such an antiquarian alteration, but still leaves the Kemm drawing as recording a lost reality and one which Kemm himself could barely have remembered from childhood. [If any reader can throw further light on this issue, please post a comment below!]

By 1773 a small formal garden had been made around the house and an avenue had been planted between the street and the river; the rusticated 18th century gate piers at the entrance to the avenue are visible in the photograph above. The house was used as an estate farmhouse in the 19th century but after modernisation by Detmar Blow in about 1902 for Edward & Pamela Tennant (who lived here while Blow was building Wilsford House for them), it became a secondary house on the Amesbury estate, and when the Abbey was converted into flats in the 1960s, it became the main residence on the estate. It is now let.

Antrobus family of Amesbury Abbey, baronets and of Eaton Hall, Eaton-by-Congleton

Antrobus, Philip (1720-88). Son of Philip Antrobus (1677-1749), dyer, of Congleton and his wife Anne (c.1688-1775), daughter of John Vardon of Congleton. Dyer; Mayor of Congleton, 1771-72 and 1780-81. He married, 1745, Mary (c.1720-91), daughter of Thomas Rowley of Overton (Staffs) and had issue:
(1) William Antrobus (1746-50), baptised 3 March 1746; died young and was buried at Astley, April 1750;
(2) Mary Antrobus (d. 1802) of Antrobus House, Congleton; died unmarried and was buried at Astbury, 15 May 1802;
(3) Frances Antrobus (d. 1753); buried 25 September 1753;
(4) Jane Antrobus (1750-1828), of Antrobus House, Congleton, baptised 22 April 1750; died unmarried and was buried at Astbury, 8 April 1828, aged 78;
(5) Sir Edmund Antrobus (1752-1826), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(6) Frances Antrobus (b. 1753), baptised 29 September 1753; died young and unmarried;
(7) Philip Antrobus (1754-1816) (q.v.); 
(8) Thomas Antrobus (b. 1757), baptised 22 July 1757; perhaps to be identified with the writer to the East India Company active in the 1780s; merchant in China; died unmarried at Canton, perhaps in the 1790s;
(9) John Antrobus (1761-94) (q.v.)
He lived at Congleton (Cheshire) but also owned land at Antrobus (Cheshire) which his ancestors had anciently possessed and which his grandfather repurchased about 1700.
He died aged 68 and was buried at Astley, 8 November 1788; his will was proved at Chester. His widow died aged 71 and was buried at Astley, 11 February 1791.

Sir Edmund Antrobus, 1st bt.
Antrobus, Sir Edmund (1752-1826), 1st bt., of Eaton Hall and Amesbury Abbey. Second son of Philip Antrobus of Congleton and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Rowley of Overton (Staffs), baptised at Congleton, 17 March 1752. A partner in Coutts Bank from 1777; he also had silk-weaving interests in Congleton. He was created a baronet of the United Kingdom (styled 'of Antrobus'), 22 May 1815, with remainder to his nephews. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Lower Cheam House and Eaton Hall estates from his brother Philip in 1816 and purchased the Amesbury Abbey estate in 1824 and the Rutherford estate in Roxburghshire. At his death his estates were divided between his two nephews, Sir Edmund Antrobus, 1st bt. and Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus.
He died 6 February 1826 and was buried at Cheam, where he is commemorated by a monument; his estate was estimated at £700,000.

Antrobus, Philip (1754-1816), of Lower Cheam House. Younger son of Philip Antrobus of Congleton and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Rowley of Overton (Staffs), baptised 27 December 1754 at Congleton. Stockbroker in London; the firm he founded became James Capel & Co. and later part of the HSBC Group; Freeman of the City of London, 1786. He was unmarried and without issue.
He purchased the Lower Cheam estate (Surrey) in c.1786, where he built a new house c.1795. Before 1807 he bought the Eaton Hall estate (Cheshire) and land at Rushton in Leek (Staffs) At his death his properties passed to his brother, Sir Edmund Antrobus, 1st bt.
He died 27 January 1816, aged 61 and was buried at Cheam, 3 February 1816, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 14 February 1816.

John Antrobus
Antrobus, John (1761-94). Younger son of Philip Antrobus of Congleton and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Rowley of Overton (Staffs), baptised 30 October 1761. Briefly a stockbroker before being taken into partnership by Thomas Coutts, 1784. He married, 12 May 1791, Anne (c.1768-93), only daughter of Gibbs Crawfurd MP of Saint Hill, East Grinstead (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus (1793-1861) (q.v.).
He lived in Spring Gardens, Westminster (Middx).
He was critically injured in a riding accident at a tollgate near Saint Hill in 1793 and spent the last months of his life in a coma, dying on 27 April 1794, aged 32; he was buried at East Grinstead, where he is commemorated by a monument. His wife died following the birth of their second son, 18 June 1793, aged 25 and was also buried at East Grinstead.

Antrobus, Sir Edmund (1792-1870), 2nd bt., of Amesbury Abbey. Elder son of John Antrobus (d. 1794) and his wife Anne, daughter of Gibbs Crawfurd MP, born 17 May 1792. Educated at Eton, St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1809; BA 1814; MA 1817), and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1812). Became a partner in Coutts Bank, 1816. He married, 16 October 1817, Anne (c.1800-85), only daughter of Hon. Hugh Lindsay, and had issue:
(1) Sir Edmund Antrobus (1818-99), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Jane Antrobus (1819-99), born 20 November 1819; married, 3 August 1843, Rev. Sir Gilbert Frankland Lewis (1808-83), 3rd bt., prebendary of Worcester and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 20 October 1899;
(3) Anne Antrobus (1821-99), born 30 May 1821; married, 9 December 1847, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry George Elliot GCB (1817-1907) of Ardington House (Berks), younger son of 2nd Earl of Minto, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 17 December 1899;
(4) Hugh Lindsay Antrobus (1823-99) (q.v.);
(5) Harriet Coutts Antrobus (1824-26), born 31 August 1824; died in infancy, 27 April 1826;
(6) Caroline Antrobus (1827-1903), born 22 March 1827; married, 2 October 1860, Hon. Humphrey de Bohun Devereux, younger son of 14th Viscount Hereford; died without issue, 22 December 1903; will proved 30 March 1904 (effects £32,757);
(7) Robert Crawfurd Antrobus (1830-1911) (q.v.);
(8) John Edward Antrobus (1831-45), born 24 September 1831; died young, 21 April 1845;
(9) Anna Maria Antrobus (c.1836-98); married, 8 November 1859 at Amesbury, Cosmo Lewis Duff Gordon (1812-76) and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 26 January 1898; will proved 3 March 1898 (estate £3,163);
(10) Very Rev. Frederick Antrobus (1837-1903), born 4 August 1837; joined the diplomatic service and held postings in Paris (3rd Secretary), Washington and St Petersburg (2nd Secretary); described as "a man of commanding presence and a first-rate linguist"; joined the R.C. church and became one of the first priests at the Brompton Oratory, where he became Superior; died unmarried, 12 July 1903; will proved 14 August 1903 (estate £374).
He inherited the Amesbury Abbey and Rutherford estates from his father and rebuilt Amesbury Abbey in 1834-41 and 1857-60.
He died 4 May 1870 and was buried at Cheam; his will was proved 10 June 1870 (effects under £300,000). His widow died 1 December 1885, aged 85, and was buried at Cheam.

Antrobus, Sir Edmund (1818-99), 3rd bt. of Amesbury Abbey. Eldest son of Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt., and his wife Anne, daughter of Hon. Hugh Lindsay, born 3 September 1818. Educated at Eton and St John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1836; BA 1841; MA 1847). MP for East Surrey, 1841-47 and for Wilton, 1855-77; JP and DL for Wiltshire; High Sheriff of Wiltshire, 1880. He married, 11 February 1847, Marianne Georgiana (1823-1903), daughter of Sir George Dashwood, 4th bt., and had issue:
(1) Mary Anne Antrobus (1848-95), born Jan-Mar 1848; died unmarried, 29 November 1895; administration of goods granted 3 July 1903 (effects £325);
(2) Sir Edmund Antrobus (1848-1915), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Louisa Emma Antrobus (1851-1929); married, 1874, Adm. Sir Algernon Charles Fieschi Heneage (1833-1915) and had issue one daughter; died 24 February 1929 and was buried at Brompton Cemetery; her will was proved 11 April 1929 (estate £4,807);
(6) Florence Antrobus (1854-1936); died unmarried, 21 September 1936; will proved 15 December 1936 (estate £17,015);
(4) Robert Lindsay Antrobus (1857-91), born 9 August 1857; junior partner in Coutts & Co.; died unmarried as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot, 5 March 1891; administration granted 21 July 1891 (effects £5,554) and 2 June 1903 (effects £1,924);
(5) Sir Cosmo Gordon Antrobus (1859-1939), 5th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited the Amesbury Abbey estate from his father in 1870 and in 1883 owned 10,673 acres, chiefly in Wiltshire (8,374 acres) and Roxburghshire (1,796 acres). Thomas Cubitt designed a large house at 14 Kensington Palace Gardens for him in 1849-51.
He died 1 April 1899 and was buried at Amesbury; his will was proved 6 September 1899 (effects £62,818). His widow died 3 February 1903; her will was proved 20 March 1903 (effects £3,794).

Antrobus, Col. Sir Edmund (1848-1915), 4th bt., of Amesbury Abbey. Eldest son of Sir Edmund Antrobus (1818-99), 3rd bt., and his wife Marianne Georgiana, daughter of Sir George Dashwood, 4th bt., born 25 December 1848. Colonel of 3rd Battn, Grenadier Guards; served in the second Suakin Expedition, 1885. He married, 2 March 1886, Florence Caroline Mathilde (1859-1923), daughter of Jules Alexander Sartoris of Hoppesford Hall (Warks), and had issue:
(1) Edmund Antrobus (1886-1914), born 23 December 1886; served in Grenadier Guards (2nd Lt., 1908; Lt., 1908); killed in action at Ypres, 24 October 1914, in the lifetime of his father; grant of administration, 22 July 1915 (estate £38,637).
He inherited the Amesbury Abbey estate from his father in 1899. As his only son predeceased him, at his death the title and estate passed to his younger brother, Sir Cosmo Gordon Antrobus, 5th bt.
He died 11 February 1915; his will was proved 10 June 1915 (estate £171,061). His widow died 19 February 1923.

Antrobus, Sir Cosmo Gordon (1859-1939), 5th bt., of Amesbury Abbey. Youngest son of Sir Edmund Antrobus (1818-99), 3rd bt., and his wife Marianne Georgiana, daughter of Sir George Dashwood, 4th bt., born 22 October 1859. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1877; BA 1881; MA 1884) and Inner Temple (admitted 1879; called to bar, 1882); barrister-at-law on Western Circuit; JP for Wiltshire. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Amesbury Abbey and Rutherford estates from his elder brother in 1915 but sold most of the land in 1916, including Stonehenge. He also sold the Rutherford estate in 1921. At his death the title and remaining property passed to his cousin, Sir Philip Humphrey Antrobus, 6th bt.
He died 29 June 1939 and was buried at Amesbury; his will was proved 10 November 1939 (estate £170,318).

Antrobus, Hugh Lindsay (1823-99). Second son of Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt., and his wife Anne, daughter of Hon. Hugh Lindsay, born 1 January 1823 and baptised 29 June 1825. Educated at Eton. Served in King's Regiment of Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Lt., 1847). Senior partner and later Chairman of Coutts Bank; Treasurer of Institute of Civil Engineers.  He married, 8 September 1859, Kathryn Mary (1829-1900), daughter of Adm. Sir Charles Adam of Blair Adam KCB and had issue:
(1) Charles Antrobus (1860-61), born 18 June 1860; died in infancy, 22 August 1861;
(2) Marion Lindsay Antrobus (1861-1927); married 1st, 25 October 1886, Capt. Henry Gerard Leigh (1856-1900), son of Henry Blundell Leigh, and had issue one son and two daughters; married 2nd, 16 April 1910, Lt-Col. Reginald Halsey (1873-1927), son of Sir Thomas Frederick Halsey, 1st bt. of Gaddesden Place (Herts); died 27 December 1927; will proved 24 February 1928 (estate £21,943);
(3) Katherine Mary Antrobus (1863-1947) of Sissinghurst Place (Kent); invested with the Order of the Precious Crown of Japan; married, 5 May 1886, Maj-Gen. Laurence George Drummond (1861-1946) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 9 September 1947; will proved 5 January 1948 (estate £60,246);
(4) Helen Antrobus (1864-1922); married, 11 February 1888, Maj. Evelyn George Hammond Atherley (1852-1935) of Croft Castle (Herefs); died 22 November 1922; will proved 21 June 1923 (estate £14,900);
(5) Elizabeth Antrobus (1866-1944) of Charles Hill Court, Tilford (Surrey); disabled as a result of polio in childhood; died unmarried, 16 November 1944; will proved 17 April 1945 (estate £221,102).
He inherited Lower Cheam House from his father in 1870. After his death the house seems to have been let and later sold.
He died 18 March 1899; will proved 26 May 1899 (effects £354,339). His widow died 31 December 1900; her will was proved 28 January 1901 (effects £10,371)

Antrobus, Robert Crawfurd (1830-1911). Third son of Sir Edmund Antrobus (1792-1870), 2nd bt., and his wife Anne, daughter of Hon. Hugh Lindsay, born 21 March 1830. East India Agent. JP for Middlesex and London. He married, 2 August 1873, Emily (c.1849-1936), daughter of Col. John Ireland Blackburne MP of Hale Hall (Lancs) and widow of William John Hope Edwardes of Netley (Salop), and had issue:
(1) Sybil Mary Antrobus (1875-1932), born 19 January 1875; married, 20 September 1904, Sir Henry Tindal Methold (1869-1952), kt., Master in Lunacy 1928-44 (who m2, 1934, Daisy Emily, daughter of A.R. Mackmin), son of Thomas Tindal Methold of Hepworth House (Suffolk) and had issue one son and two daughters; died 24 March 1932; administration of goods, 17 May 1932 (effects £1,126);
(2) Sir Philip Humphrey Antrobus (1876-1968), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Margaret Freda Evelyn Antrobus (1879-1959), born 4 August 1879; married, 24 August 1904, Hon. Gilbert de St. Croix Rollo (1872-1932), youngest son of John Rogerson Rollo, 10th Lord Rollo of Duncrub and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 26 October 1959.
He died 12 February 1911; his will was proved 3 May 1911 (estate £1,615). His widow died 21 December 1936; her will was proved 1 March 1937 (estate £4,958).

Antrobus, Sir Philip Humphrey (1876-1968), 6th bt., of Amesbury Abbey. Only son of Robert Crawfurd Antrobus (1830-1911) and his wife Emily, daughter of Col. John Ireland Blackburne of Hale Hall (Lancs) and widow of William John Hope Edwardes of Netley (Salop), born 22 July 1876. Educated at Eton. Captain in Irish Guards; served in First World War (wounded twice; mentioned in despatches); awarded MC 1918. Stockbroker. He married, 29 November 1919, Olive Geraldine Emma (1887-1979), daughter of Louis Theobald Dillon FitzGibbon and widow of Jordan Dumaresq (d. 1915) of Boston, but had no issue. His wife was awarded the Polish Gold Cross of Merit for her charitable work on behalf of the Polish refugee community during the Second World War.
He inherited Amesbury Abbey from his cousin, Sir Cosmo Gordon Antrobus, 5th bt., in 1939. About 1960 he converted the house into flats and moved to West Amesbury House. At his death the baronetcy and estate passed to his kinsman, Sir Philip Coutts Antrobus, 7th bt.
He died 11 July 1968. His widow died Jul-Sept. 1979, aged 92.

Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus as a child
Antrobus, Gibbs Crawfurd (1793-1861) of Eaton Hall. Younger son of John Antrobus (d. 1794) and his wife Anne, daughter of Gibbs Crawfurd MP, born 27 May 1793. Educated at Eton, St John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1810; MA 1832) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1812). Served in the diplomatic service, 1814-26; attended the Congress of Vienna with Lord Castlereagh, 1814-15; Secretary of Legation in Washington, 1816-21, Turin and Sardinia, 1823-24 and Sicily, 1824-26; MP for Aldborough (Yorks), 1820-26 and Plympton Erle, 1826-32, in which capacity he opposed Catholic emancipation and the Reform Bill; JP and DL for Cheshire; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1834; his travelling carriage is preserved in the collection of the National Trust at Arlington Court (Devon). He married 1st, 25 June 1827, Jane (d. 1829), daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st bt. (a partner in Coutts Bank); and 2nd, 12 January 1832, Hon. Charlotte Crofton (d. 1839), daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 2nd bt. of Mote (Roscommon) and his wife Anne, Baroness Crofton, and had issue:
(1.1) John Coutts Antrobus (1829-1916) (q.v.);
(2.1) Maj. Edward Crawfurd Antrobus (1835-64), born 28 February 1835; educated at Eton; served in Army from 1852-62 (Lt., 1854; Capt.); emigrated to New Zealand; Major in 2nd Waikato Militia; died unmarried in Auckland (New Zealand), 24 August 1864; will proved 16 January 1865 (estate under £1500);
(2.2) Charles Antrobus (1836-1905) of Odd Rode (Cheshire), born 26 August 1836; died unmarried, 17 May 1905; will proved 6 June 1905 (estate £13,189);
(2.3) Susan Emily Antrobus (1837-1913); foundress and Superior of Guild of St Barnabas for Nurses, 1876-1912; died unmarried at Nice (France), 2 January 1913, and was buried there;
(2.4) Anna Maria Antrobus (1839-1915), baptised 24 August 1839; married, 18 October 1864, Rev. Francis Richard Bryans (1835-1909), vicar of Higher Peover (Cheshire) and later rector of Greatham (Hants) 1893-1902, elder son of Rev. Francis Bryans, and had issue two daughters; died 23 June 1915 in Cambridge.
He inherited the Eaton Hall estate near Congleton (Cheshire) from his uncle, Sir Edmund Antrobus, 1st bt., in 1826, and rebuilt the house there in 1829-31.
He died 21 May and was buried at Astbury, 28 May 1861; his will was proved 19 June 1861 (effects under £25,000).  His first wife died 24 November 1829 in childbirth. His second wife died 29 September 1839.

Antrobus, John Coutts (1829-1916) of Eaton Hall. Only son of Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus (1793-1861) and his first wife, Jane, daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st bt., born 23 November 1829 and baptised 26 December 1832 at Astbury (Cheshire). Educated at St John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1848; BA 1852; MA 1855) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1852; called to bar 1857); barrister-at-law. JP and CC for Cheshire; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1868; Hon. Lt-Col. of Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry. He married 1st, 29 September 1855, Fanny (c.1831-63), daughter of Clement Swetenham of Somerford Booths (Cheshire); 2nd, 10 January 1865, Mary Caroline (1836-72), daughter of Geoffrey Joseph Shakerley; and 3rd, 6 February 1875, Mary Egidia (1851-1911), youngest daughter of Gen. the Hon. Sir James Lindsay KCMG, and had issue:
(1.1) Eleanor Margaret Antrobus (1856-73), baptised 29 September 1856; died unmarried and was buried at Eaton, 23 December 1873;
(1.2) Blanche Helen Antrobus (1858-1954); died unmarried, 26 November 1954, aged 96; will proved 26 January 1955 (estate £7,955);
(1.3) Jane Mary Evelyn Antrobus (1860-1937), baptised 22 April 1860; married, 23 November 1899 as his second wife, Arthur Francis Thomas Cooper (1858-1918) of Culland Hall, Brailsford (Derbys), and had issue one child (who died young); died 26 July 1937 and was buried at Brailsford (Derbys); will proved 12 October 1937 (estate £10,903);
(1.4) Crawfurd John Antrobus (1862-1943) of Eaton Hallborn 16 June 1862; land agent; married, 6 June 1900 at St Marylebone (Middx), Marie (c.1865-1930), daughter of Thomas Hamilton, gent. and widow of Dennis Pearce; died 10 September 1943; will proved 8 February 1944 (estate £86,374);
(2.1) Dora Katharine Antrobus (1866-1919), baptised 6 May 1866; died unmarried, 29/30 January 1919;
(2.2) Geoffrey Edward Antrobus (1867-1958) (q.v.);
(2.3) Philip Robert Antrobus (1869-74), baptised 19 December 1869; died young and was buried at Eaton, 1 July 1874;
(2.4) Ralph Edmund Antrobus (1871-1927), born 4 September 1871; educated at Charterhouse; married, 16 November 1901 in Kensington (Middx), Millicent (1875-1937), daughter of Edward Lindsey de Morgan (and niece of the artist, William de Morgan) and had issue two sons and two daughters; emigrated to South Africa and died 2 April 1927;
(3.1) Rev. Jocelyn James Antrobus (1876-1953), born 9 May and baptised 4 June 1876; educated at Charterhouse and New College, Oxford (BA 1900; MA 1902); ordained deacon, 1901 and priest, 1902; curate of Hatfield (Herts), 1904-13; vicar of Saffron Walden (Essex), 1913-17; rector of Hatfield (Herts), 1917-36; retired to Somerset where he became a JP; married, 10 June 1915, Justine Mary Louisa (d. 1964), daughter of Major William Affleck King and had issue one son and one daughter; died 10 September 1953; will proved 8 December 1953 (estate £25,485);
(3.2) Capt. Cecil Hugh Antrobus (1877-1915), born 25 September 1877; educated at Charterhouse School; served in Boer War and WW1 with Cameron Highlanders and was killed in action at Loos-en-Gohelle (France), 26 September 1915; will proved 15 October 1915 (estate £44);
(3.3) Walter Guy Antrobus (1879-1963), baptised 8 April 1878; educated at Charterhouse School; fought in Boer War with Marshall's Horse, 1901-02;  married, 19 August 1907, Kathleen Frances (b. c.1877), daughter of Brig-Gen. Arthur Broadwood, and had issue three sons and two daughters; emigrated to South Africa and died in Pietermaritzburg, 19 April 1963; will proved 10 September 1963 (estate in England £5,241);
(3.4) Charles Alexander Antrobus (1880-1915), born 16 December 1880; educated at Charterhouse School; served in Kings Own Scottish Borderers from 1906 (Capt., 1908) and was killed in action in the Dardenelles, 25 April 1915; will proved 22 May 1915 (estate £590);
(3.5) Mabel Dorothy Antrobus (1882-1942), born 21 August and baptised 1 October 1882; married, 12 April 1918, Henry Lister Reade, son of Henry Lister Reade of Congleton (Cheshire) and had issue one daughter; died 8 October 1942; will proved 5 March 1943 (estate £15,461);
(3.6) Col. Ronald Henry Antrobus (1891-1980) (q.v.).
He inherited the Eaton Hall estate from his father in 1861.
He died 19 December 1916; will proved 9 May 1917 (estate £97,486). His first wife died 20 and was buried at Eaton, 26 September 1863. His second wife died 11 and was buried at Eaton, 18 September 1872. His third wife died 1 July 1911; her will was proved 18 August 1911 (estate £1,641).

Antrobus, Geoffrey Edward (1867-1958). Eldest son of John Coutts Antrobus (1829-1916) of Eaton Hall and his second wife, Mary Caroline (d. 1872), daughter of Geoffrey Joseph Shakerley, born 15 September 1867. Educated at Charterhouse School. He married, 3 December 1898, Mary Atherstone (1874-1954), daughter of Hilton Barber of Halesowen, Cradock, Cape Province, South Africa, and had issue:
(1) Sir Philip Coutts Antrobus (1908-95), 7th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Ida Dorothy Antrobus (b. 1909), born 3 August 1909; married 1st, 7 July 1937 (div. 1940), Frank Thomas Hayes Jr. son of F.T.R. Hayes Sr. of Grafton, Cathcart, Cape Province (South Africa) and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 23 March 1944, Cyril Embleton Hilton Barber (b. 1905) of Conway, Cape Province (South Africa) and had issue one son and one daughter;
(3) Mary Shakerley Antrobus (1913-2000), born 4 March 1913; married, 19 June 1937 Edward Mounsey Gilfillan JP (1910-81) of Conway Farm, Conway Station, Cape Province (South Africa), son of Edward Thornhill Gilfillan of Brincliffe, Tafelberg, Middleburg, Cape Province (South Africa) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 21 November 2000;
(4) Crawfurd Ralph Antrobus (b. 1915) of Grahamstown (South Africa), born 29 September 1915; served in Second World War (wounded); married, 12 July 1943, Sheila Marcia, daughter of Ven. Alfred Edward McKenzie of Cradock, Cape Province (South Africa) and had issue one son and one daughter.
He died 16 July 1958, aged 90. His wife died 28 April 1954.

Antrobus, Sir Philip Coutts (1908-95), 7th bt., of West Amesbury House. Elder son of Geoffrey Edward Antrobus (1867-1958) and his wife Mary Atherstone, daughter of Hilton Barber of Halesowen, Cradock, Cape Province (South Africa), born 10 April 1908. Served in Second World War, 1939-42 (prisoner of war). He married 1st, 28 August 1937, Dorothy Mary (d. 1973), daughter of Rev. William George Davis of Tarkastad, Grahamstown (South Africa); 2nd, 1975, Doris Primrose (d. 1986), daughter of Harry George Watts and widow of Thomas Ralph Dawkins; and 3rd, 1991, Esme Florence Bayes, daughter of Dudley Charles Windsor and widow of Frank Herbert Mawer, and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward Philip Antrobus (b. 1938), 8th bt., born 28 September 1938; educated at Witwatersrand University (BSc 1961) and Magdalen College, Cambridge (BA 1965; MA 1969); married 1st, 7 October 1966, Janet (d. 1990), elder daughter of Philip Walter Sceales of Hyde Park, Johannesburg (South Africa) and had issue one son and two daughters; married 2nd, 29 November 1996, Rozanne Penelope, daughter of Neville Simpson of Durban (South Africa); now living in South Africa;
(2) Michael Ronald Antrobus (b. 1939) of Cradock, Cape Province (South Africa), born 21 October 1939; educated in South Africa (Dip. Ag.); married, 27 January 1968, Sandra, daughter of J.H. Moolman of Middleton, Cape Province (South Africa) and had issue one son and two daughters; now living;
(3) Patricia Jennifer Antrobus (b. 1948) of Norwich, born 25 August 1948; married, 1971, Maj. Michael George Rodgers Montgomery and had issue one son and one daughter; now living.
He inherited the Amesbury Abbey estate from his kinsman, Sir Philip Humphrey Antrobus, 6th bt., in 1968. He sold the Abbey with 20 acres of grounds in 1979 but retained West Amesbury House and about 200 acres.
He died 1 August 1995. His first wife died in September 1973. His second wife died in 1986. His widow is now living.

Antrobus, Col. Ronald Henry (1891-1980). Ninth and youngest son of John Coutts Antrobus (1829-1916) of Eaton Hall by his third wife, Mary Egidia, youngest daughter of Gen. the Hon. Sir James Lindsay KCMG, born 8 November 1891. Educated at Charterhouse School. Served in Royal Artillery, 1910-44 (2nd Lt., 1910; Lt., 1914; Capt. 1917; Maj., 1918, Lt-Col., 1939; retired 1944; mentioned in despatches three times in First World War and awarded MC 1916). JP for Cheshire, 1948, and DL 1952; High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1960. Member of Cheshire Rivers Board. He married, 24 November 1921, Muriel Kathleen (1891-1980), eldest daughter of Richard Henry Gosling of Hawthorn Hill, Bracknell (Berks) and widow of Capt. Henry Miles Chetwynd-Stapleton (d. 1915), and had issue:
(1) John Ronald Lindsay Antrobus (1926-2000), born 12 June 1926; educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge (BA, 1950; MA, 1955) and Trinity College, Oxford; served in the army in Palestine, 1947-48; married 1st, 16 February 1952 (div. 1960), Ann, eldest daughter of Cdr. Denys Royds Brocklebank RN of Longbridge House (Wilts) (who m2, 1 April 1961, Maurice Stanley Gooding) and had issue two sons; married 2nd, 22 November 1961 (div. 1966), Margaret Jane, only child of Dr. J.H. Penman of Eskbank (Midlothian); married 3rd, 26 August 1966 Rochelle Christine, younger daughter of Theodore William Candee of Pasadena, California (USA) and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 16 July 2000.
He inherited the Eaton Hall estate from his elder brother in 1943. He sold most of the grounds for gravel digging and later sold Eaton Hall to the gravel company for demolition to allow further extraction, subject to a life tenancy for himself and his wife which expired in September 1980.
He died 11 June 1980; his will was proved 7 November 1980 (estate £754,009). His widow died 17 September 1980; her will was proved 11 March 1981 (estate £49,328).


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 2003; E.H. Coleridge, The life of Thomas Coutts, 1920; Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Wiltshire, 2nd edn., 1975, pp. 91-93; N. Burton, 'Thomas Hopper', in R. Brown (ed.), The Architectural Outsiders, 1985, pp. 129-31; J. Bold, Wilton House and English Palladianism, 1988, pp. 95-123; P. de Figueiredo & J. Treuherz, Cheshire Country Houses, 1988, p.233; J. Bold, John Webb, 1989, pp. 94-100; VCH Wiltshire, vol. 15, pp. 13-55; C. Bright, 'Realpolitik and Elizabethan Ceremony: The Earl of Hertford's Entertainment of Elizabeth at Elvetham, 1591', Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 45 (1), 1992, pp. 20-48; M. Drury, Wandering Architects, 2000, pp. 112-22; P. Willis, Charles Bridgeman and the English landscape garden, 2nd edn., 2002, pp. 53-54; T. Mowl, The historic gardens of Wiltshire, 2004, pp. 27-28, 68-69; D.J. Ride, 'Tower Hill, Newton Tony, Wiltshire', Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine, 2005, pp. 128-42; T. Mowl & M. Mako, The historic gardens of England: Cheshire, 2008, pp. 102-03;

Location of archives

Antrobus family of Amesbury Abbey, baronets: deeds, estate and family papers relating to Amesbury estate, 13th cent-1901 [Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, 283]
Antrobus family of Eaton Hall: architectural plans by S.P. Cockerell, 1813 and Lewis Wyatt, 1828 [Cheshire Record Office, D4637]; deeds, estate and family papers, 18th-20th cents [Staffordshire Record Office, Stafford, D(W)1909]; photograph album, including interior views of Eaton Hall [Congleton Museum]

Coat of arms

Lozengy or and azures on a pale gules three estoiles of six points wavy of the first.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 11 January 2015 and revised 25 July and 24 October 2015, 27 January 3 and 10 February 2019 and 23 November 2022, incorporating information from comments below. I am grateful to Neville Slater for additional information and images.


  1. Elizabeth Antrobus of Charles \hill Court probably never married as she was paraplegic as a result of Polio. Charles Hill Court is built round a lift, which allowed her easy access to all floors, 2 of which are below the level shown in the photograph as the house is built on a very steep hillside. On the other side of the house a series of water features in a formal Italianate garden stretch down the hillside. She had done the "Grand Tour" and spoke fluent Italian, much to the surprise of one of their airmen who was forced to bail out in the early 1940's, got caught up in a Wellingtonia outside her bedroom, was rescued by the gardener with a very long ladder, then found himself being given breakfast by a redoubtable old lady, his arerest by the Home Guard being put on hold whilst they had char and wads in the kitchen. How do I know, I was her nextdoor neighbour between the ages of 3 and 6 and I still remember her with great fondness.

    1. Thank you for this very helpful comment. I have now incorporated a couple of the key facts you supply in the narrative above.

  2. Much obliged, that was a truly cool read!
    hegn i haven

  3. My interest in Antrobus is because my birth father was a Geoffrey Antrobus. MY birth Mother was living in Congleton at the time. Just bring curious.

  4. My grand father's mother was Harriet antrobus and I'm just trying to find relatives

  5. The Somerford Booths Swetenhams only have one “t”. John Coutts Antrobus’ first wife Fanny, daughter of Clement Swetenham of Somerford Booths, was a one-t Swetenham. The two-t Swettenhams originated just down the road in the village of Swettenham. Victorian pedigrees take great care not to suggest a common origin back in the mists of time, while still giving the two families very similar coats of arms and an identical motto “Ex sudore vultus”

    1. Thank you for the correction, which I have made above.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.