In AD 1086 (Doomsday), the manor was called ‘Maunsel’ being derived from the French meaning ‘Sleeve of Land’ and was granted to Count Eustace of Boulogne, kinsman of William the Conqueror.
At the time of Henry II,William De Erleigh granted Maunsel to Philip Arbalistarius as a dowry to his daughter Mabel on payment of two pigs every Whitsuntide at his court of Durston. His son Philip married the daughter of Sir Hugh d’Auderville and assumed the Surname of Maunsel.
Philip de Maunsel became progenitor of the family with the surname ‘Maunsell’ and ‘Mansel’. The estate passed to the Bacon family of Norfolk and then to the Slade family.
The Slade family between 1772 and 1868 built two further wings of Maunsel, to the North and West. In more recent times, Sir Ben has undertaken an extensive restoration programme for both the house and the surrounding estate.This has included the buying back of various parts of land sold off by ancestors and returning the house to a befitting state.
Maunsel House is a magnificent 13th Century Manor set in 100 acres of stunning parkland at the heart of sprawling 2,000 acre Estate, compromising of farms, lakes, woodlands, walnut groves, orchards, Somerset Wetlands, cottages and ancient barn.
General Sir John Slade (his father also called John) bought Maunsel House in 1772. He was awarded 1st Baronet for services during the war. He also famously danced with Marie Antoinette who gave him a snuff box when he was a young man.
Sir Thomas Slade who was a Naval architect, designed Nelsons Ship ‘Victory’. A model of the ship itself can be found on the upstairs landing of Maunsel House. Sir Alfred Slade 3rd Baronet was born 28th May 1834, (son of Sir Frederick Slade, 2nd Baronet).
Sir Alfred fought in the Crimean War and later became the Receiver General of the Inland Revenue.
Madeleine Slade was the daughter of British admiral Sir Edmond Warre Slade and went to India in 1925. Gandhi renamed her with the Indian name Mirabehn in recognition of her devotion to him and his cause. She accompanied Gandhi to the roundtable talks with the British and later was imprisoned alongside him in Aga Khan Palace Jail.After Gandhi's death she continued running an ashram, or spiritual community, until 1956.
Sir Cuthbert Slade 4th Bt, son of Sir Alfred married and had three children; Barbara Constance Slade, Captain Sir Alfred Fothringham Slade 5th Bt, and Sir Michael Nial Slade 6th Bt. Sir Benjamin Julian Alfred Slade 7th Bt is the son of Sir Michael Nial Slade. He was born 22nd May 1946 and educated at Millfield School, Somerset. He worked in various different businesses in Australia before returning to London in 1971 to work as a stockbroker in the City of London.
Sir Benjamin founded Shirlstar Container Transport Limited in 1973 with £200 and built the business up into a leading container transport company. Shirlstar Container Transport Ltd later became part of Shirlstar (Holdings)
Ltd and the container fleet was sold in the late 1980s. Since then, Sir Benjamin's business interests have diversified into high
technology, food retail, property investment, agricultural land and insurance.
Sir Benjamin Slade’s family crest of ostrich feathers and the arms of three horses is believed to have been granted “Slade of Slade Hall” in the reign of Edward I.