Welcome to Staunton Harold Hall
The Staunton Harold Estate is a traditional country estate of some 2000 acres, centred on the great Georgian mansion, Staunton Harold Hall. Family run, and ‘hands on’ in its management style, the estate has embraced modern uses for its diverse assets.
The Hall itself became a family home again in 2003, after fifty years of institutional use. With some eighty three rooms, the main building easily accommodates three generations of our family. Son-in-law, Tony Cantrill, has taken over the West Wing, now converted into high quality managed offices and conference facilities, known as LION COURT.
The suite of fine ‘State Rooms’ on the east and north front lend themselves to large functions, and here we host weddings and other events up to twelve times a year.
Our family’s involvement with Staunton Harold began in 1955, when we purchased the three farms at the core of the estate. These included the large Georgian stable block, which stood abandoned and ruinous. We put it in good repair, and in 1974 began its conversion to craft workshops and studios. Now known as the FERRERS CENTRE FOR ARTS AND CRAFTS this is a true ‘making’ centre with some eighteen businesses covering a range of disciplines.
Most of our land is let to local farmers, but the four hundred acres of woodland we manage ourselves with a forestry team based at our estate sawmill. From here we sell firewood through the TEN MILE TIMBER COMPANY, and sawn material, mainly oak and larch, cut to customers’ requirements.
Our family business centres around maintaining and renting out property and a recent addition to this, built from our own timber, is DEERPARK LODGE. This is a holiday cottage, sleeping six, set among trees on a hill above the Hall.
The hamlet of Staunton Harold includes a garden centre, in separate ownership, and a fine 17th century church, now in the care of the National Trust. We have become something of a walking and cycling centre, with adequate car parks and restaurants and seven routes radiating from the settlement.
How do you feel about solar farms? – you know, those serried ranks of sloping glass panels covering fields here and there beside the motorways. I ask because we are about to get one, at the southern end of the estate near Ashby de la Zouch. It’s the brainchild of our son Richard, who was enthused by the sight of a very large one on an old aerodrome site near Loughborough.
Come to that, how do you feel about the other visible source of renewable energy, wind turbines? Orthodox opinion says you should hate them and Jacqueline does, but I think they are beautiful, and look out for them quite as much as I would for, say, the Angel of the North. As to their efficiency, and whether we should subsidize them, I don’t know enough about the figures to say. And I’ve no strong feelings about solar farms either; we need electricity, but I’d rather see green fields.
On this estate we have looked at most renewable options in recent years, but not found one which answers our needs. Other great houses around here have taken the plunge; Calke Abbey and Catton Hall have installed woodchip-fired boilers, Chatsworth and Haddon Hall both have water turbines. Lake-source heating has been installed at Castle Howard and elsewhere; this last is something we have explored in depth, but the configuration of our present oil system and other factors proved too difficult to overcome.
Six log-burning stoves in different parts of the house, and many more throughout the estate, are our present contribution to saving fossil fuel. We are still looking hard at other possibilities and who knows – this time next New Year