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.
An Accidental Craft Centre
In 1955 my parents bought the former stable block of Staunton Harold Hall, semi derelict and ‘thrown in’ with the Home Farm. We repaired the roof and then tried for nearly twenty years to find a use for the building. We had plans prepared to turn it into fourteen houses turned down by the council. We even planned to knock out the internal walls and store potatoes there for the crisp factory in Ashby. Luckily that was turned down too. In 1973 the authorities put a ‘Grade II listing’ on the building, stipulating that it be maintained and kept in repair. At that point I requested a meeting with the planning officers at Coalville and said to them, ‘We both want to see this building kept up, but you must permit some viable use for it’. They had anticipated the question and to my surprise said, ‘we would favour craft workshops and accommodation for craftsmen’.
I knew nothing about the craft movement but we advertised locally and in 1974 our first tenant, a potter, rented a couple of rooms at £1 per week. Gradually we renovated and let further buildings as workshops, and then added a tearoom and a gallery. Forty years on the whole building is used.
Several other ‘craft centres’ have opened locally over the years, gradually morphed into retails units, and closed down. We insist that our workshops and studios are ‘making’ units promoting British craftmanship. I believe that this has been the secret of our continuing success.