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, through Staunton Hardwoods, 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.
We four country bumpkins from Staunton would make very unhappy jailbirds; after five hours in the National Exhibition Centre at Birmingham there was palpable relief as we emerged into the open air once more.
We went there last week to explore the ‘Grand Designs’ exhibition, looking for new ideas in the care and improvement of our buildings. We had some success, but less than I’d hoped for; most of the offerings were aimed at the luxury market. And though the exhibitors were British, what they were selling was mainly sourced abroad. The awnings we looked at were German, as were the kitchens, the timber structures were made from French oak, the wooden furniture came from the far east. The outcome of the Brexit talks will have more implications than I’d realised.
There was a time when I used to look at our children’s purchases to see if they were British made , but that was many years ago. The world has changed and though we may not be the world’s workshop any more nearly everybody has a job to go to, and I suppose that’s what matters.
Back at dear old Staunton we are in something of a time warp. With our building and forestry teams, our own sawmill and the resources of the Ferrers Centre, we can tackle ‘in house’ most of the work which comes our way. And, come to think of it, most of that work is outdoors, which would explain why the huge windowless halls of the NEC were not our cup of tea.