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.
Our longstanding vicar, the Reverend John Dawson, retired earlier this year. He had the care of four parishes, Breedon on the Hill, Worthington, Isley Walton and Staunton Harold. In recent years he has overseen changes at Breedon and Worthington, with the introduction of kitchens and toilet facilities.
His replacement, the Reverend Mary Gregory, has come down from parishes in Lancashire. She has an even bigger territory, including Ashby de la Zouch and Coleorton. Much of the information she is gleaning comes from talking to relatives before conducting a funeral One such conversation recalled an incident when a couple were touring Italy about forty years ago and their car broke down. Expecting trouble explaining the problem at the local garage they were delighted to find a mechanic who spoke English. Even more surprising he’d learnt his English close to where they lived, as a prisoner of war at Staunton Harold.
I was able to tell Mary something of the history of the Hall during the war years, and of an unusual sequel. One prisoner returned to an Italy much impoverished and contacted the farmer for whom he’d worked in England. Sam Aldridge found him work and somewhere to live. He married, and his family still live in the district.
Of course, John Dawson would know all this. He’s a Worthington man himself.