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Boarstall Tower

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Located in Boarstall, Buckinghamshire, the tower was once the moated gatehouse of a much larger fortified mansion. It was constructed in 1312 by John de Haudlo and marked the entrance to Boarstall House which was built on the site of an earlier manor by the same name. A local legend tells that King Edward the Confessor granted the land to a huntsman by the name of ‘Nigel’ who ridded the forest of a giant and ferocious boar that had been terrorising the nearby villagers and royal hunting parties. Nigel was knighted and the house was built and named in memory of the animal. One of its long tusks was turned into a two feet four inches long horn which became an heirloom of the house. During the English civil wars the house was attacked and occupied several times between 1643 and 1646. At one point it was the target of intensive cannon fire from the forces of Colonel Thomas Gage during which it sustained serious damage. The Gatehouse survived intact and there is a stone-lined ‘secret passage that once linked the tower to the moat and maybe even the manor itself. After the war the main house was restored by Lady Dynham. On its completion a fiery comet sped through the sky and was so bright that it turned night into day. The property passed to the Aubrey family but tradgedy struck again in 1777 when the young son of Sir John Aubrey was accidentally poisoned by his nurse. Some claim it was arsenic mixed into oats to poison rats while others suggest that it was a form of ergot contamination. The nurse went mad with guilt and a year later the boy’s mother died of grief. Over the following years Sir John grew convinced that the House was cursed and had it torn down in 1788 leaving only the gatehouse which is now managed by the National Trust. It is a tenanted building with somewhat limited access.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
426 Abingdon Road, Oxford
Oxfordshire, England, OX1 4XG
+44 (0)1865 244 088

Contact Details

  • Address: Brill Road, Boarstall, Buckinghamshire, England, United kingdom, HP18 9UX
  • GPS: 51.82336944,-1.095630556
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1296 730 349
  • Part of UK: England
  • Sat Nav Postcode: HP18 9UX
  • Entrance Fees: Yes (When open to the public)
  • Disabled Access: Reasonable
  • Visibility from Road: None

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