Conservation Tour. Week 32.

Week 32 has seen us at Stanway, an exceptionally beautiful Jacobean manor house in the roly-poly Cotswold hills of Gloucestershire.

Owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years and more recently (the last 500 years) by the Tracy family and their descendants. The Earls of Wemyss still live there and warmly welcomed us this week.

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Gatehouse (Outer)
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Gatehouse (inner). c. 1630, possibly by Timothy Strong of Barrington, for Sir Richard Tracy: minor alterations c.1700.
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If it all looks a bit on a lean –  it’s because it is. Beautifully and sensitively repaired by the Arts and Crafts Architect, Detmar Blow in the early C20 (more about him in the following blog post).
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Repair schedule draftmanship.

The Stanway estate was leased from Tewkesbury Abbey by Richard Tracy in 1533, and following the Dissolution, his family purchased the freehold in the 1580s.

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The principal rooms lie in this south-facing range with an unbroken series of triple mullioned and transomed windows and with strapwork along the parapet. This range, conceived as a royal apartment, was begun in the later 1620s, with rainwater goods dated 1670.
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Afternoon light, showcasing the Cotswold stone known as Guiting Yellow.
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Rooftop views. A north range was demolished in 1948, the footprint of which would have extended onto the lower lawn. What remains is a kitchen court of 1859-60 designed by William Burn (d 1870).
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Clever roof-top access.

INTERIORS: 
Between 1883 and 1937 Stanway was made over to Hugo, later eleventh Earl of Wemyss, who lived there with his wife Mary Wyndham. During their time Stanway became the central meeting place of their wide circle of literary and artistic friends known as ‘The Souls’. 

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Boudoir.
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Corridor looking down towards the Main Hall.
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Drawing room.
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Kitchen-by-candlelight.
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Eating off beautiful things.

Church, park and Grounds:

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The nearby St Peter’s Church – C12th with the tower added in the C13th and whole building restored in 1896.
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Churchyard.
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The pyramid, a major focal point of the the C18th watergarden.  Eight ponds fall steeply to feed a single-jet fountain, at 300 feet the highest gravity-fed fountain in the world.
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The Tracys and their mid C19 successors, the earls of Wemyss and March rarely occupied Stanway, preferring their Scottish estates.
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Painterly attempts of above.
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Meeting the locals.

The Watermill: 

Keeping things local. The 24-foot overshot waterwheel,  made by local iron-masters James Savory of Tewkesbury ca.1850, drives traditional cast-iron machinery and a fully operational flour mill.
Stanway also boasts a brewery (one of only two log fired breweries in the UK.) 

 

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The Estate watermill has recently been restored to full working condition. The 24ft diameter waterwheel produces wholemeal and sifted flour from wheat grown on the Stanway Estate.

 

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Run by an efficient, knowledgeable and passionate team.

 

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The (almost) end product (also makes for very good bread).
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What a joy to be exploring at such an abundant time of year!
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Lots more exploring to be done along parts of the Cotswold Way. https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold-way
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And sliding into the weekend with lovely friends in Bristol!

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