Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Today I had the incredible opportunity to visit Stoneywell, the National Trust's newest treasure, nestled in the Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire. It is something I have been incredibly excited about for many, many months (if not years...) since the National Trust announced that they had inherited the arts and crafts cottage owned by the Gimson family.

Stoneywell was the summer house of Earnest Gimson, an architect and designer who was dedicated to the arts and crafts movement. This house has particular interest to me as the main Gimson house in Leicester was turned in to a primary school in the 1950's, the primary school that I attended! I do remember being taught some of the history of the family whilst at school, and of course, I couldn't forget the design of the buildings.

The interiors of the beautiful cottage remain as they may have been when the latest generation of the family moved into the house full time in the 1950s. Many of the furnishings were designed and made by hand, specifically for this house, making it a completely unique experience. William Morris, a close friend of Ernest Gimson and a pioneer of the arts and crafts movement, created many textile designs, which can be seen dressing each and every window. The details and the amount of care that has gone in to all parts of the house are just breathtaking.

 The grounds offer spectacular views over Charnwood, part of the National Forest. I can't wait to return in the spring and summer to see the gardens in full bloom, though you can't beat the russet colours sweeping over the landscape.

It was an inspiring visit which evoked many, many emotions and memories from my childhood, seeing furniture that reminds me of pieces my father would have had. I can't wait to visit again!

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