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.
Some of the coal seams which give Coalville its name come to surface on our estate. They have been mined continually since medieval times; the last pit, New Lount, was sunk in 1927. All the deep mines had closed by about 1980, but they kept on pumping the mine water out for another ten years. When they stopped pumping the water found its way out through the fractured coal seams, and onto our land.
A sloping grass field below the Ferrers Arms pub has been one major outflow for many years, and about an acre is covered in boggy marsh grass. A cow became stuck in it last year and had to be extricated. Now it is proposed to fence the land off and plant it with trees. I have been asked to advise on species. Willow is an obvious choice, also alder and aspen, and maybe hazel. We have a number of basket makers in the area, and I’m wondering if any of them would be interested to take part of it as an osier bed. A stream forms the lower boundary; is there scope to enlarge it and form a pond? And how about some bog plants in that area, – this can be be a real fun exercise. Swamp cypress by the stream-side, – would they be too exotic in this rural spot?
Though the area will probably be fenced this summer, planting will start in the autumn. A public footpath runs just above it, so this piece of ‘carbon capture’ can be watched as it develops.