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.
‘’May you live in interesting times’ is the Chinese benefaction, and ’Boy’ – we certainly do. Football in Moscow, Tennis at Wimbledon, Lads rescued from a cave in Thailand, Novichok in Salisbury, Donald Trump in Europe. Oh! – and then there’s Brexit.
I think most of us are fed up with it. Bad enough that the EU is being difficult, but our lot can’t seem to agree on anything themselves. Well, they did when the cabinet met at Chequers last week, but now ministers are resigning and the Brexiteers are saying “that’s not what we voted for.” Where do we go from here?
Some of you will know that I was a UKIP member and keen advocate of regaining our independence. Beyond voting at elections it has been the only time I’ve taken an active part in politics. My reasons are largely instinctive and when a ‘Remainer’ challenged me the other day I struggled to articulate my reasons. But I am also a realist, and inclined to back what was agreed at Chequers. It stands the best chance of getting through parliament, where Theresa May does not have a majority and needs the Irish DUP. Perhaps more importantly, in our years of membership industry has become accustomed to open borders, and components flow freely throughout the Eurozone. For that to continue we need to accept other rules to maintain a level playing field. We may not like it, but this is a consequence of our long involvement. For me it is enough that our direction of travel is towards greater independence.
This notebook is early because I’m about to go abroad. When I come back the football, tennis, Trump and the rest will be old news. Only Brexit remains; we must make of it the best we can.