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.
In a few days time, with any luck, we will have elected a Conservative government, quickly followed by a vote to leave the EU.The settling of this issue will probably give a psychological boost in the country, but real change will still be a good way off.
Thus a matter that has consumed us for many years will finally be put to bed, but another issue looks set to be with us for decades to come. Climate change: – science, and the evidence of our own eyes, points to this being both real and manmade. Droughts and fires and floods have always been with us, but when they all come together ‘let not men say “they have their reasons, they are natural.” Here at Staunton there is a litany of tales about delayed and cancelled journeys, and our own works van had to be abandoned on a flooded road by the river Trent.
One local couple, more ‘woke’ than the rest of us, joined an ‘Extinction Rebellion’ march in London. The next month they jetted off to America to visit an uncle. This dichotomy. I fear, will bring rancour and guilt which will touch us all. Decisions we made daily without any thought of environmental consequences will be questioned by ourselves and our neighbours. It will turn some of us into very ‘unhappy bunnies.’
It’s of no comfort to me that the elements of this crisis have come about almost entirely in my lifetime. Growing up after the war there was no plastic, few cars, and no planes carrying tourists and goods around the world. It was a hard time, in many ways harder than the war itself. In this new dilemma we must look for ways that help the climate without unduly impoverishing our lives.