A magazine article about the first motor cars on historic properties has set me thinking about the course of events here at Staunton Harold. When the tenth Earl Ferrers died in 1911 the title and estate passed to a cousin, an architect practising in Kent. It was probably he who made a garage by punching a hole in the stable building which is now our Ferrers gallery. Why didn’t he use one of the two large carriage houses? Anyway, he went to some trouble to look after his car, large central heating pipes ran round three sides of the room, fed by a coke boiler in the next room. The inspection pit he built is still there – we just put a concrete lid on it when we converted the building.
When we bought the stable block in 1955 most of the ground floor rooms were just as they had been when the last horse moved. out. On the whitewashed walls upstairs were poignant messages, in Italian and English, from prisoners who had lived http://www.healthsupportyou.com/accutane-isotretinoin/ there in the 1940s. The neighbouring farmer had annexed two of the rooms, for pigs in Ferrers Frames and potatoes in the Tearooms. The courtyard was knee high in grass, with an abandoned wooden timber drug in one corner.
I was surprised how hard it was to find anyone who had known Staunton Harold when is was a functioning estate. Eventually I made acquaintance with Ralph Roberts, a retired blacksmith from nearby Breedon, and walked with him round the buildings. He told me about the forge, where the horses stood to be shod, about the rabbit warren in the park, and the Earl’s shed, where he did wood turning as a hobby. And about the harness room, the only room with a fire, where the ploughmen would sit gossiping when the weather was too wet. They would have spent some time there this last twelve months, and they’d have plenty to gossip about – that room is now taken up with ladies corsets and wedding dresses.