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.
A man of eighty, planting!
To sow at such an age might be no harm,
Argued three youngsters from a neighbouring farm,
But to plant trees! Th’old man was plainly wanting.
‘For what, in Heavens name,’ said one of them
‘Can possibly reward your pains,
Unless you live to be Methusalem?
Why tax what little of your life remains
To serve a future you will never see?’
‘Is it so,’ said he?
‘My children’s children, when my trees are grown,
Will thank me for their kindly shade.
What then, has any law forbade
A man to work for pleasure not his own?
To picture theirs is my reward today,
Perhaps tomorrow also; who shall say?’
This is a translation from a French poem written over three hundred years ago. Nowadays it applies to me, still planting trees at eighty three. My oaks, like his, will be for the grandchildren to enjoy, but there is another which may benefit me.
PINUS MACEDONIS, the ‘Beanstalk Pine,’ is famous for its’ rapid growth. Planted in early April, it grows three feet each week on average, and is some thirty five feet tall by the autumn. Growth slows after that, and it reaches its’ maximum height of eighty feet in five years. But the girth continues to expand, and in its’ native Macedonia I have driven my old Volvo in tunnels carved through the vast trunks. We have planted a grove of them here this spring.