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.
The Choices We Make
This Estate only contains a handful of rural houses and cottages, and we rarely have one vacant. In the next few months a pretty two bed cottage will be coming empty, and we have been debating how best to relet it.
There is a trend to turn such properties into holiday lets; our neighbours, The National Trust on the Calke Abbey Estate, have done this with every property which comes empty. They take a deal more managing but produce a greater income. Andrew and Caroline have built a holiday cottage here at Staunton as a diversification from their farming enterprise, and it is immensely popular. It is set in the woodland above the Hall and sleeps six.
Then there is the ‘executive’ market, letting to high income business people, often seconded to the area on one or two year contracts. They demand a high ‘spec’, but are prepared to pay a high rent.
Finally there is the ‘traditional’ market, people for whom work or family ties make this particular area the most suitable. They are unlikely to be able to afford the highest rents, but will probably stay longer. They are also more likely to become part of the local community, contributing to local events and organisations. Having weighed it back and forth this is the route we’ve decided to follow, so it will be ‘word of mouth’ and local advertising in due course.