Stoneywell

The south front of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The south front of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

It has just been announced that the National Trust is acquiring Stoneywell, an Arts and Crafts house in Ulverscroft, Leicestershire.

The back of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The back of Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Stoneywell was built by the architect-designer Ernest Gimson (1864-1919) for his elder brother Sidney and his wife Jeanie. Gimson consciously used local materials and tried to fit the house harmoniously into its undulating site.

The dining room at Stoneywell, with the Barsnley table and Gimson chairs. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

The dining room at Stoneywell, with the Barsnley table and Gimson chairs. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

Stoneywell has remained almost unaltered and still contains items of furniture created for it, such as a Sidney Barnsley dining table and a set of Ernest Gimson ladderback chairs.

Slate steps and curved doorway at Stoneywell. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

Slate steps and curved doorway at Stoneywell. ©National Trust/Chris Lacey

The acquisition has been made possible by grants from the Monument Trust and the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, as well as donations from local supporters and from the Gimson family.

The eponymous well house at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The eponymous well house at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The National Trust is still raising funds to make repairs, put visitor facilities in place and allow Stoneywell to open to the public in 2014.

The stables at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The stables at Stoneywell. ©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Ernest Gimson’s furniture can also been seen at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum and Rodmarton Manor. The Owlpen Manor website features a good introduction to his work.

13 Responses to “Stoneywell”

  1. beeskep Says:

    Very nice. Have not seen or heard of this. Would love to see it.

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Barbara, yes it is a bit of a hidden gem :)

  3. deana Says:

    Bit of a fairytale cottage, isn’t it. MAd for that curved door. It’s a tiny gem. thanks for sharing.

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Yes I wonder if we can spark off a fashion for curved doorways, and slate steps? But only where there is a local precedent for it, of course :)

  5. ianmac55 Says:

    Excellent Gimson exhibition not too long ago in the Museum in Leicester’s New Walk.

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Thanks very much. Here’s the link: http://www.leicester.gov.uk/gimson/

  7. ianmac55 Says:

    Cheers, Emile! I had forgotten that there was a related website with splendid links. I do remember that Mary Greenstead, from the Cheltenham Museum, came to the Leicester exhibition and gave a very interesting talk. Thanks again, Ian.

  8. wesleytanner Says:

    How exciting, please let us know when it is open to the public.

  9. graham daw Says:

    Dear Emile,in Alastair Service’s ‘Edwardian architecture’(1977) Stoneywell is mentioned in its illustration caption as being originally thatched.Was that so?This seems a stone tile country. I prefer to think that there was a mix up with E S Prior’s ‘The Barn’, Exmouth,which was being described in the adjacent column. That was thatched at first.If you have an answer I can scribble a correction or confirmation in the margin,like a peevish scholar!

  10. Ned Says:

    Thatched roof lost in fire in 1938. House and contents saved, thankfully. I like the slates better to be honest.

  11. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Graham, yes there is an image of the house with thatch on the Owlpen Manor website linked above. I quite like the softening effect of that.

    Thanks very much Ned – you are obviously a member of the pro-slate school of thought :) And in this case thatch obviously proved to be a bit dangerous.

  12. Tom Carey Says:

    Just to air an alternative view to the one expressed above, I think a nice feature of the thatch is the link to the heathery plants on the hillside, reinforcing the feeling that the house grows out of the surroundings. It also would provide work for local craftsmen whenever it required rethatching. I suppose rethatching the house is out of the question on the grounds it would a. be prohibitively expensive, b. pose a fire risk for what is now going to be a public building and c. perhaps be controversial since the fire in the 30s is part of the house’s history, although obviously not Gimson’s original vision? I am very pleased it has been acquired by the NT, and I am really looking forward to visiting this house,

  13. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Excellent, a supporter of the pro-thatch school :) And you seem to sum up the elements of the conservation discussion that is probably going to take place soon or is already taking place among the colleagues responsible for Stoneywell. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

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