It’s hard to believe a year has gone since I first stepped into the magical world of National Trust Stoneywell.
Stoneywell is the first domestic property within Leicestershire to be cared for by the National Trust, who also look after nearby Ulverscroft Nature Reserve (managed by Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust) & Staunton Harold Church
Stoneywell was designed by Ernest Gimson in 1899 for his brother Sydney and built by Detmar Blow, initially as a Summer residence for the family and then in later years a full time family home. The cottage built into a rocky outcrop with beautiful garden has remained in the Gimson family until 2012 when it came into the care of the National Trust who I know will love it and care for it just as the Gimson’s did.
It has been an absolute delight to see the garden and cottage change over the seasons of the past year before it opens to the public fully in February 2015, as volunteer photographer I have been privileged to capture alot of it on camera.
Working here is certainly not a chore although was a little challenging when visiting in the snow
The cottage is being presented as it was in the 1950’s as an Arts and Crafts home when Donald Gimson lived there with his wife Anne, son Roger and daughter Sally – the last Gimson owners. Seeing the cottage transform from a modern day home back into a 1950’s home has been quiet emotional, reminding me in many ways of my Grandparents’ home.
– Stoneywell pantry with a photo of my Grandparents’ pantry below it.
There’s a multitude of handcrafted Arts and Craft furniture designed by Gimson and his good friends the Barnsley brothers on the various levels throughout the cottage. Volunteers help bring the cottage to life telling stories and anecdotes of the family
Stoneywell will be opening its doors fully to the public in February next year, but before it does the National Trust has invited people local to the area to come try out the visitor experience and have a sneak peak up until November 30th when it closes for Winter.
A visit to Stoneywell wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory tea & cake.
Due to the size of Stoneywell all visitors whether National Trust members or not must be booked in prior to their visit.
– Booking can either be done online via National Trust Stoneywell or by calling 01530 248048.
© National Trust/Susan Guy