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.
Shottle farmers – proud as peacocks,
Turnditch farmers – poor as crows,
Idridgehay we dursna’ speak of,
How they live, God only knows.
Old Derbyshire Rhyme
Farming has always been a precarious business, more so since cargo ships and refrigeration opened us up to cheap imports from the New World. Market prices, the weather, pests and diseases – they have a lot to contend with.
Since the Second World War they have been encouraged to produce as much food as possible, and given state subsidies, broadly based on how much land they farm. An inefficient system, and now about to change dramatically. Environmental improvements to encourage diversity of plants and wildlife, and public access -these, over time, will become the basis on which subsidies are paid.
There is also a drive to plant more trees, for ‘carbon capture.’ I’m not so sure about this in our small, overcrowded island. Here at Staunton Harold a quarter of the estate is woodland already; I doubt that we will be adding to it.