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.
Then and Now
Many of the matters which concern us today are the problems of affluence; – obesity, road congestion, plastic disposal. How different to how things were when I was growing up, at the end of the Second World War.
There were no plastics, of the sort we have nowadays Fish and chips were wrapped in newspaper, sweets went into paper bags and bottles went back to the shop to earn us a penny refund. In our building business we de-nailed lengths of timber for reuse, then straightened the nails on a blacksmith’s anvil to reuse those as well. I spent many hours chipping the mortar off second hand bricks to build another wall somewhere. Every builder had a yard, and some sheds for storage.
Walk past a house renovation in town today and you’ll see a skip parked in the road outside. Into it goes everything, including the builder’s barrow when the tyre goes flat. It grieves me so much that I have to avert my eyes, lest I dive in and start rescuing useful stuff. Our Staunton Estate must be unusual; here we still have a yard, and sheds, and an old fashioned staff who save things and recycle them.
All of which is not to make an argument for the ‘good old days’. Our lives are better today than at any time in history. Only the media, where bad news from around the world is their stock in trade, conspires to convince us otherwise.