Snow at Stoneywell

Volunteer photographer Susan Guy was caught in a flurry of snow at the cottage last week and we thought we’d share her lovely photos with you.

Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Cottage Feb 11 2014 (2) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Cottage Feb 11 2014 (6) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Cottage Feb 11 2014 (7) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Cottage Feb 11 2014 (8) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (1) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (2) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (3) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (4) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (5) Susan Guy - Stoneywell - Snow Garden Feb 11 2014 (6)It’s lovely see see signs of spring shooting up amongst the snow, we hope that drier and warmer weather is on its way!

It’s been busy inside the cottage too with the South Derbyshire Building Team starting work on installing a 1950s bathroom. Here you can see Ray preparing the walls and getting everything ready for the much anticipated bath.IMG-20140218-WA0006

Planning proposals successful

We’re pleased to say that we’ve been granted planning permission for Stoneywell.

Rebecca Speight, Director for the National Trust in the Midlands said:

“We are delighted by Charnwood Borough Council’s decision to grant us planning permission for Stoneywell cottage. We can now turn our attention to the large task ahead of us to sensitively implement the proposals that will allow us to open to visitors next year.”

Thank you for your support and we will post more information on the blog soon.

 

Planning continues

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the support we have received for our planning proposals, but we still need more!

Please help us provide evidence of strong public support as this really is an important factor in the planning process and the opportunity to register your support is drawing to a close.

Here are the proposals we have submitted:

A. Planning application for the change of use of Stoneywell from residential to a visitor attraction and associated works to convert/alter the stables to provide visitor facilities. (Planning reference P/13/0607/2)

B. Listed Building Consent application to make appropriate changes to the stables to provide small scale visitor facilities and a modest office for staff and volunteers. (Planning reference P/13/0608/2)

C. Planning application for the change of use and laying out of part of Corner Field as a 60 space car park for visitors to Stoneywell. (Planning reference P/13/0606/2)

Please support our proposals by quoting all 3 references by:

  • writing to the Council at Planning Services, Charnwood Borough Council, Southfields, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2TN
  • on the planning portal

Please support our proposals by Friday 24th May.

Planning proposals submitted

We’ve been a little quiet recently as we have been working hard to get our planning proposals ready. And we’re pleased to say we have submitted our planning proposals to Charnwood Borough Council.

Along with seeking to ensure that Stoneywell is safeguarded as an important Arts and Crafts house for future generations, another of the Trust’s core purposes is that both present and future generations can have appropriate access to Stoneywell so that they can visit and enjoy it.

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

So a key part of our proposals is that formal visiting arrangements are made possible, in fact this was one of the main reasons why the Gimson family were keen that the property and a large proportion of the contents of the house came to us.

Thank you to everyone who attended our public road show sessions in January and February.  We appreciated the opportunity to discuss our plans and exchange views, and we especially value the considerable level of support expressed for what we are seeking to achieve in preserving Stoneywell.

At one of the roadshows © National Trust

At one of the roadshows © National Trust

We’ve carefully considered the views and comments received since we first announced our potential acquisition of Stoneywell last spring and have drawn up sensitive proposals for the property that have sought to address as fully as we reasonably can a variety of issues that have been raised.

If our planning proposals are approved we will then be able to proceed with the necessary essential work to enable us to open Stoneywell cottage to the public in early 2014.

Here are the proposals we have submitted:

A. Planning application for the change of use of Stoneywell from residential to a visitor attraction and associated works to convert/alter the stables to provide visitor facilities. (Planning reference P/13/0607/2)

B. Listed Building Consent application to make appropriate changes to the stables to provide small scale visitor facilities and a modest office for staff and volunteers. (Planning reference P/13/0608/2)

C. Planning application for the change of use and laying out of part of Corner Field as a 60 space car park for visitors to Stoneywell. (Planning reference P/13/0606/2)

Find out more about our planning proposals

We believe our proposals are reasonable in considering the benefits of saving Stoneywell and providing public access for future generations and minimising the impact this may cause on the local area. We are completely committed to achieving these aims.

An important element for consideration in the planning process is the level of public support. If you would like to support our proposals by quoting all 3 references you can do this:

  • in writing to the Council at Planning Services, Charnwood Borough Council, Southfields, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2TN
  • on the planning portal

If you are able to support our proposals please do so by Friday 10th May.

A very English genius

We thought we’d share a little bit about Ernest Gimson with you, the man behind Stoneywell.

Ernest Gimson

Ernest Gimson

Described by his contemporary W.R Lethaby as“A thinker, an explorer, a teacher” he became one of the most inspiring and influential architect-designers of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

Ernest was one of a large local family who moved to New Walk, Leicester when he was a young child. His father, Josiah Gimson, founded and ran the engineering firm at the Vulcan Works, adjoining the Midland Railway.

The family were very prominent in the Leicester Secular Society. It was following one of their meetings, at which William Morris had spoken, that the 19-year-old Ernest met and greatly impressed Morris; the latter then steering him to his subsequent career. Ernest decided to move to London to continue his architectural training, whilst his brother, Sydney, followed their father into the family business.

The family would have known Charnwood Forest well. It was a very popular recreational place for people who lived in Leicester, for walking and camping, and from the late 19th century, cycling too. Some built weekend and holiday huts: Sydney, however, decided he wanted a house here for his holidays.

So he instructed his brother, Ernest, to design him one. Building work began in 1898, and the following year Sydney and his wife Jeanie began staying there – their joint initials and the date 1899 being inscribed into the huge stone lintel of the inglenook.

Ernest Gimson employed Detmar Blow (who was also an important architect of the Arts & Crafts movement) as Foreman at Stoneywell and he was in charge of the building team.

A sketch of Detmar Blow by Welsh painter Augustus John

A sketch of Detmar Blow by Welsh painter Augustus John

Blow is said to have been hugely charming and good fun, although he was to come to a sticky end when working for Bendor, Duke of Westminster after he was found guilty of defrauding the Dukes Grosvenor estate.

He chose each stone of Stoneywell’s giant chimneystack. He’d spot a suitable one in someone’s field or at the side of the road, and then send a wagon over to “liberate it”. There’s even a story of his “accidentally” knocking down a boundary wall, then graciously offering to rebuild it, having removed and replaced the particular stone he’d had his eye on all along.

Each stone for the chimney was lovingly hand picked

Each stone for the chimney was lovingly hand picked

Ernest moved to the Cotswolds in 1893. There, at Sapperton, he collaborated a great deal with the Barnsley brothers, Ernest and Sidney (a confusing number of Erns & Sids in the Arts & Crafts world!) who like him designed and made some of Stoneywell Cottage’s furniture.

This magnificent oak table was made by Ernest Gimson himself

This magnificent oak table was made by Sidney Barnsley and the ladderback chairs were crafted by Ernest Gimson

All the time, however, he and his workers remained true to William Morris’s ideal that:

Nothing should be made by man’s labour which is not worth making, or must be made by labour degrading to the makers.

F.L Griggs, a celebrated etcher and collaborator with the Sapperton craftsmen, stated that

“There can be no doubt, I think, That Ernest Gimson was a great creative genius, and in temperament and in all he did a very English genius”

Find out more about Ernest Gimson

On the road again

We want to share and discuss our plans for Stoneywell with the local community and held our first Stoneywell road show at Woodhouse Eaves last Saturday.

Our regional director Beccy Speight came along to discuss our plans:

“It was great to see so many people turn up to the event at Woodhouse Eaves.  About 40 people came along and most seemed to be really excited about being able to find out more about Stoneywell and many people offered to volunteer and help us with opening the cottage and its gardens to the public.  We discussed our proposals and we took a lot away from our conversations with people. We have three more sessions coming up so we look forward to meeting with other local residents then.”

A very snowy Stoneywell last week!

A very snowy Stoneywell last week!

IMG_4969The road show continues with sessions in Markfield and Newtown Linford. Local residents can meet some of the project team and find out more details about our proposed visitor facilities.

Plans will be on display of our initial proposals. We are still considering options for alternative car parking.

Plans will be on display of our initial proposals. We are still considering alternative options for car parking.

There will also be the opportunity to see images of inside this unique Arts and Crafts cottage.

The next road shows will be held at:

  • Markfield Community Centre on Saturday 2nd February from 10am to 1pm
  • Newtown Linford Village Hall on Friday 8th February from 5pm – 8pm and Saturday 16th February 10am – 1pm.

Want more information in the mean time? Read more about our proposed car parking plans.