Welcome to Staunton Harold Hall
The Staunton Harold Estate is a traditional country estate of some 2000 acres centered 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 its eighty three rooms it easily accommodates three generations of our family. The West Wing, facing towards the Ferrers Centre has been converted to high quality managed offices with conference facilities. This is Lion Court, created by son-in-law Tony Cantrill. On the East front we have a series of grand State Rooms, which are used for weddings up to a dozen times each year
In 1974 we began converting the disused Georgian stable block into craft workshops and studios and it is now the largest such complex in England with seventeen different enterprises working in a wide range of disciplines. This is known as the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts.
In another part of the estate we have the Sawmill, which serves the four hundred acres of woodland which we manage. From here we sell firewood through the Ten Mile Timber Company, and planked timber, beams and other bespoke material cut from estate oak and other woods.
The sawmill also provided most of the timber to build the Deerpark Lodge, a holiday cottage in the woods above the Hall. Managing and renting out accommodation and business premises is what we do, and the lodge, which sleeps six, is an exciting addition to our portfolio.
The hamlet of Staunton Harold is also home to Staunton Harold Nurseries, and to the fine seventeenth century family church, now owned by the National Trust. It is also a great walking centre with seven routes radiating from the core, plentiful parking and two good tearooms.
Bulletin No 92 – 1st February 2014
The Lodge and iron railings at the southern end of the Estate were built about two hundred years ago at the end of the Georgian era, with a nod to the Gothic style in the arched front door. The lodge-keeper’s job was to keep the entrance gates closed, and open them when a visitor approached. Many years ago I went to an estate in the West Midlands where this practice still obtained. At Staunton, the local blacksmith once told me, he arrived at the gates one day with his father and was starting to open them when the old man rushed out saying “You’ll cost me my job”. If he lost his job, he’d lose his house as well.
The Lodge was ‘T’ shaped, with three rooms; living room, bedroom, and kitchen/scullery. Each room had a fireplace and for symmetry the flues were arched over to gather in the roof space and emerge as one central stone chimney. We bought the building in 1966 and extended it by adding a second bedroom on one side and kitchen on the other, with the old kitchen made into a bathroom. In the course of the work we had to demolish some of the original chimneys, and it was then that we found the child’s leather shoe. It was concealed in a small cavity created for it in the solid wall.
I can visualize it now, and wish we’d kept it, but it was many years later that I learned of the tradition of building a shoe into the chimney to ward off evil spirits which might enter the house that way. Now the gates are gone, destroyed at the end of the war, the gold-topped railings have been lovingly restored, and a family lives in the Lodge, with as far as we know, no ill effects.