History Originally a farmhouse, Knighton House was absorbed into the Portman family estate in 1774 when it was purchased as part of Durweston village. Extended in 1830, it served as the dowager house for the Portman family, who also owned Bryanston House. The Portman family resided in the house until 1950 when ownership was passed to the Crown Estate in settlement of outstanding death duties. At this time, John and Peggy Booker wished to establish a new preparatory school in the area, and Knighton House was the perfect fit. It still runs as a successful girls' boarding school, and has recently become available for weddings and events.