Clearwell Castle

Last updated
Clearwell Castle, May 2008. ClearwellCastle.JPG
Clearwell Castle, May 2008.

Clearwell Castle in Clearwell, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, is a grade II* listed Gothic Revival mansion. First known as Clearwell Court, it was built in the Gothic style by Thomas Wyndham in 1727, to the designs of Roger Morris, [1] and replaced an older house which occupied the same site. [2] He was a son of Francis Wyndham (d.1716), a grandson of Sir George Wyndham of Uffords Manor, Norfolk, 6th son of Sir John Wyndham (1558-1645) of Orchard Wyndham, [3] [4] Somerset, from whom was descended the Wyndham Earls of Egremont of Petworth House, Sussex, and several other prominent Wyndham branches. The building was constructed of local stone in Gothic style with battlements. It has an imposing gateway formed by two three-storey towers.

Clearwell village in United Kingdom

Clearwell is a village and former ancient manor in the Forest of Dean, West Gloucestershire, England. A recent survey indicated that the population of Clearwell is approximately 350.

Forest of Dean geographical, historical and cultural region in Gloucestershire, England

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It forms a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and northwest, Herefordshire to the north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.


The Wyndham family

Charles Wyndham (later Edwin) and his son Thomas Wyndham in 1775 Thomas Wyndham with his father Charles Edwin Wyndham.jpg
Charles Wyndham (later Edwin) and his son Thomas Wyndham in 1775
Etching of Clearwell Castle in 1775 Clearwell Castle 1775.jpg
Etching of Clearwell Castle in 1775

Thomas Wyndham (1686-1752) made substantial alterations and additions to the existing Clearwell mansion in 1727. He was the son of Francis Wyndham, a wealthy landowner. His mother was Sarah Darell, the daughter of Sir Thomas Darell. He was educated at Eton and the University of Cambridge and became a barrister and later a Member of Parliament. He married twice. His first wife was his cousin Jane Wyndham daughter and heir of William Wyndham who owned Dunraven Castle. She brought this estate into his family and it was passed through successive generations. His second wife was Anne Edwin, daughter of Samuel Edwin of Llanmihangel Place, Glamorgan. [5] The couple had two sons. When Thomas died in 1752 his eldest son by his second marriage Charles Wyndham inherited Clearwell Castle.

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Dunraven Castle Grade II listed building in St Brides Major. Castle near Southerndown, Wales

Dunraven Castle was a mansion on the South Wales coast near Southerndown. The existing manor house was rebuilt as a castellated hunting lodge in the early 19th century and was extensively remodelled later in the century. The surviving parts of the house and its lands are Grade II listed buildings.

Llanmihangel Place manor house in Llanmihangel, Wales

Llanmihangel Place is a Grade I listed manor house in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales. It became a Grade I listed building on 16 December 1952.

Notice of name change of Charles Wyndham from Wyndham to Edwin Charles Wyndham name change 1777.jpg
Notice of name change of Charles Wyndham from Wyndham to Edwin

Charles Wyndham (1731-1801) was born in 1831 in London. In 1862 he married Eleanor Rooke, daughter of James Rooke of Ifton and Bigsweir House. The couple had one son Thomas Wyndham (1763-1814. [6] In about 1775 Charles had his portrait painted with his son Thomas who was then about 12 years old. At about the same time he commissioned an etching of Clearwell Castle which shows both the house and the stable. The painting and etching are both shown.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

In 1776 his aunt Lady Charlotte Edwin died and as she and her deceased husband had no children Charles inherited their large fortune. In the following year he changed his name to Charles Edwin in accordance with the terms of the inheritance. The notice for this is shown.

Charles died in 1801 and his son Thomas Wyndham (1763-1814) inherited Clearwell Castle. In 1787 he married Anna Maria Charlotte Ashby. [7] The couple had a son and a daughter. However their son died at a young age leaving their daughter Caroline the sole heir of the Wyndham fortune. Caroline (1789-1870) married in 1810 Windham Henry Quin (1782-1850) who was the eldest son of Sir Valentine Richard Quin owner of Adare Manor in Ireland. When her father died in 1814 she inherited Thomas’s estates and the couple changed their surname to Wyndham Quin. When Windham’s father died in 1824 he inherited the family property and titles and became Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, 2nd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl.

Caroline was known for her philanthropic work. She established schools in the towns where she and her husband owned land including Clearwell. In 1859 she built a new school there at her own expense. She also made large contributions to the church and opened a cottage hospital. [8]

Caroline died in 1870 and the property remained in the Wyndham family until 1893 when it was sold.

20th century

Its name was changed to Clearwell Castle in 1908. For a time after 1947 it lay empty and deserted but in 1953 it was bought and restored by the son of the former estate under-gardener, Frank Yeates (d.1973). Frank sold his bakery business in Blackpool and along with his wife, Alice, and two sons, Graham and Bernard, worked quietly and tirelessly to restore the Castle room by room to its former glory until his death in 1973. Friends and relatives spent their spare time and holidays helping the family work on the Castle. [9]

Blackpool Place in England

Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast in North West England. The town is on the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north of Liverpool, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Bolton and 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester. It had an estimated population of 139,720 at the 2011 Census, making it the most populous town in Lancashire.

In the 1970s Clearwell Castle was used regularly as a rehearsal and recording studio by rock music bands including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Badfinger, Sweet, Mott the Hoople, Van Der Graaf Generator and Bad Company. Deep Purple rehearsed for their albums Burn and Stormbringer there in 1973 and 1974 respectively. Peter Frampton recorded his 1975 album Frampton there. Sweet wrote and recorded parts of their Level Headed and Cut Above the Rest albums there in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Led Zeppelin composed and rehearsed some of their album In Through the Out Door there in 1978. Black Sabbath came to the castle in 1973 seeking inspiration after a series of fruitless writing sessions in California. The band found what they were looking for (including "the riff that saved Black Sabbath") in an underground recording studio built by the Yeates family there, writing the critically acclaimed album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath .

Clearwell Castle is now a wedding venue.

Related Research Articles

Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl

Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created on 5 February 1822 for Valentine Quin, 1st Viscount Mount-Earl. Quin had already been created a Baronet, of Adare in County Limerick, in the Baronetage of Ireland, in 1781, Baron Adare, of Adare in the County of Limerick, on 31 July 1800, and Viscount Mount-Earl on 3 February 1816. He was made Viscount Adare in 1822 at the same time as he was given the earldom. The latter peerage titles were also in the Peerage of Ireland. The Quins were unusual among Irish landowning families in that era in being of Gaelic origin, although they married into Anglo-Irish families like the Widenhams of Kildimo and the Dawsons of Dublin.

Thady Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 7th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was an Irish peer.

Richard Southwell Windham Robert Wyndham-Quin, 6th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was an Irish peer. The son of Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, he succeeded to the Earldom on the death of his father.

Colonel Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was an Irish Peer, British Army officer and a Conservative Member of Parliament for South Glamorganshire 1895–1906.

Windham Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl Irish noble, Glamorgan landowner and politician, sportsman and author

Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl,, styled Viscount Adare between 1850 and 1871, was an Anglo-Irish journalist, landowner, entrepreneur, sportsman and Conservative politician. He served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies under Lord Salisbury from 1885 to 1886 and 1886 to 1887. He also successfully presided over the 1902 Land Conference and was the founder of the Irish Reform Association. He recruited two regiments of sharpshooters, leading them in the Boer War and later establishing a unit in Ireland.

Edwin Wyndham-Quin, 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl British politician

Edwin Richard Wyndham-Quin, 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-EarlKP PC was a British peer, Member of Parliament, and archaeologist.

Windham Henry Quin, 2nd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was an Irish Peer.

Valentine Quin, 1st Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl Irish politician

Valentine Richard Quin, 1st Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, 1st Baronet was an Irish Peer and MP.

Adare Manor

Adare Manor is a manor house located on the banks of the River Maigue in the village of Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl. The present house was built in the early 19th-century, though retaining some of the walls of the 17th-century structure. It is now the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, a luxury hotel.

Charles Wyndham or Windham may refer to:

Desmond Wyndham Otho FitzGerald, 28th Knight of Glin was an Anglo-Irish nobleman, an hereditary knight as recognised by the Irish government and socialite.

Thomas Wyndham may refer to:

Thomas Wyndham, was a Welsh politician.

Charles Edwin was a Welsh politician.

Garinish Island (County Kerry)

Garinish is a privately owned island lying off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland.

Pamela Wyndham, Lady Egremont was a British society hostess and traveller, who worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, before marrying her cousin John Wyndham, 1st Baron Egremont.

Thomas Wyndham (of Clearwell Park) British Member of Parliament (died 1752)

Thomas Wyndham of Clearwell Court, Gloucestershire, Dunraven Castle, Glamorgan, and Cromer, Norfolk, was a British lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1721 to 1734.

Quin is a shortened form of the Irish male name Quinlan.


  1. "Clearwell". Royal Forest of Dean. Forest Web. 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
  2. Rye, Walter, Cromer, Past and Present: Or an Attempt to Describe the Parishes of Shipden. London: 1889, pp.30-1
  3. History of Parliament website. “Thomas Wyndham (1686-1754)” Online reference
  4. History of Parliament website. “Charles Wyndham (1731-1801)” Online reference
  5. History of Parliament website “Thomas Wyndham (1763-1814)” Online reference
  6. O’Sullivan, E. 2017 Ascendancy Women and Elementary Education in Ireland, p. 267. Online reference
  7. "Clearwell Castle - a Family Affair" Cathryn Yeates 1987


Coordinates: 51°46′2″N2°37′28″W / 51.76722°N 2.62444°W / 51.76722; -2.62444