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 bought the last of the farms and woodland on the Coleorton Estate from Sir George Beamont in 1966. It had been his family seat for five hundred years, though they’d sold the hall and moved away forty years earlier. The land adjoined our Staunton Harold property, only separated by the A453 Nottingham – Birmingham road.
It was a wide bowl of land, more wood than farm, with tall oaks and herds of fallow deer. Special, you might say, but seemingly not special enough. When the Highway Authority decided that they needed a new route across the region three alternatives were considered, and all three crossed this land. Then the Coal Authority said they intended to work the whole area for opencast coal to avoid, they said, sterilising the coal under the new motorway. The coal was mined, the highway built, trapping sixty acres between the new and old roads.
It is thirty years now since the land was restored, the fields laid out, the trees planted. Locals walk their dogs on the paths we’ve made, and the trees are high above our heads. We expected years of quiet enjoyment, but it is not to be. HS2, the high speed rail link between London and the northern cities, is set to carve another swathe across the valley. The plans are out, though not finalised. Another sixty acres will be trapped between rail and road, and a hundred acres is coloured pink for potential use during construction. When will it end? There is still much left to enjoy but we seem fated; in fifty years we have seen more upheaval than the Beaumonts in their five hundred.