Laughton Place : The Tower of the Buckle

If Laughton is the Village of the Buckle then Laughton Place is the Tower of the Buckle. Buckles turned up everywhere. Regular Commenter here, and now good friend too, Fran, visited me twice during my stay and together we enjoyed spotting the buckles. Here are the ones we found and some other photos of the wonderful Laughton Place.

LP first evening

Laughton Place on the first evening

Laughton Place Day

Laughton Place by day

The tower we see at Laughton today was built in 1534 by Sir William Pelham. It is all that survives of a house that existed from the 13th century until the 1950s, undergoing many alterations and rebuildings on the way. From 1401 until 1927 Laughton remained in the single ownership of the Pelham family, who owned great estates in Sussex. In the 15th and 16th centuries it was indeed their chief residence and it bears the emblem that they traditionally used to mark their property – the Pelham Buckle – claimed to have been won by military prowess at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.

Terracotta Buckle

Unusual terracotta window frames

Terracotta Window Decoration with Buckle

In 1534 Sir William Pelham remodelled the house on a grand scale around a moated courtyard and with terracotta decoration in the newest Renaissance fashion. All that has survived is this bold brick tower, which stood close to the main hall as an outlook post and set of secure private rooms combined. By 1600 the family had abandoned Laughton, driven by the damp to build again on higher ground and slowly the house decayed.

LP picture

In 1753, Henry Pelham, politician and brother to the splendid Duke of Newcastle, had the idea of surrounding the tower with a new Gothick farmhouse. The result was very charming, with a pediment between crenellated side-wings, and pointed windows. Thus it continued until sold by the Pelhams in 1927. The new owner pulled down the wings, leaving only the tower. Laughton Place stands, with a couple of other buildings, within the wide circle of the Downs, down a long drive.

Sitting room, LP

The plain, but comfortable, sitting room

When the Landmark Trust bought it in 1978 the tower had great cracks in its sides and the floors had fallen in – much engineering and lime mortar went into its repair. The rooms inside are plain, apart from the delicate arabesque decoration of the terracotta windows, the moulded terracotta doors and the Pelham Buckle.” 

[Adapted from The Landmark Trust website]

Buckle Curtains

Buckle Curtains

Window Catch

Buckle Window Catch

Door Latch

Buckle Door Latch

Front Door handle

Buckle Door Handle

View from the Tower - Laughton Place

View from the Tower Roof Platform

Over 60 steps

Over 60 steps lead up to the third floor bedroom

Twin Bedroom, Laughton Place

Third Floor Twin Bedroom


8 comments on “Laughton Place : The Tower of the Buckle

  1. Valkrye says:

    Really charming! A magical place

  2. […] I’d also wanted to visit them and showed Barbara the Landmark Trust website. When she saw Laughton Place tower she would not be budged to look elsewhere for accommodation. So we ended up last weekend in […]

  3. Fran says:

    Laughton Place has such atmosphere. Thank you for letting me visit you there as I doubt I would ever have seen it otherwise; being quite a way from the road!

  4. Kathrin says:

    We spent wonderful days there together. It’s worth a overnight and climb all the 62 stairs to the bedroom on the third floor. Thanks a lot for the splendid days, my lady!

  5. […] ways similar; on the Friday of our stay we headed to Charleston Farmhouse just a few miles from Laughton Place. It’s a rather more slick presentation in that tickets are sold and one is booked on one of […]

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