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.
Here at Staunton our close neighbours are the National Trust, owners of Calke Abbey and park. Recently they have come under fire on two counts, closing down their parkland when the virus struck, and re-examining their properties with regard to colonialism and slavery.
On the second count I think that they are well out of line, responding to the ‘woke’ agenda currently toppling statues and renaming buildings. Taking this line of thinking to its logical conclusion it is arguable that most great houses should never have been built. As to closing down their open spaces, and subsequently giving very limited access, I’m afraid this tends to be the default reaction of organisations run by committees in our ‘risk averse’ society. Individuals can still climb mountains and shoot the rapids, groups must play it safe or risk dire consequences. The National Trust and others played it too safe, but who am I to complain; Staunton stayed open and has seen an influx of visitors greater than at any time since the Ferrers Centre was opened forty six years ago.
All this said, we should never undervalue the enormous benefit that the National Trust brings to our country. Priceless buildings and landscapes are maintained, while Enterprise Neptune saved and opened up our coastline. Our church here at Staunton is in their care, and the cost of maintaining that helped to sink the last private owner.