NTLA Preview Visit to Stoneywell Cottage

 by Mike and Hazel Hibbitt

Stoneywell is open every day of the week from 1st Feb to 30th Nov
from 10.00am to 5.00pm (4.00pm in February and November) 

All visits must be pre booked by phoning  01530 248048

or logging on to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stoneywell

Directions are listed below.
We took the opportunity to attend the organised preview of this property, which is now only the second National Trust (NT) property in Leicestershire.  We met in the NT owned car park on Whitcrofts Lane, and were ferried by minibus to the site. 

Our first view of the property was of a quaint stone house nestling in the hilly, heather covered rocky outcrops of the Charnwood Forest.  A truly picture perfect setting, which blended in beautifully with its natural surroundings.    Before visiting the house we had time to look around the gardens which were more extensive than we had imagined.  They consisted of eleven acres of woodland and four acres of gardens stretching up the hillside.  These ranged from the purple and white heather covered rocky front gardens, which were alive with butterflies and bees, to a walled kitchen garden, a small orchard and a former tennis court which is now a lovely flat, grassed area surrounded by herbaceous borders.

Our volunteer guide showed us around the property and we learnt that the house was designed in 1898 by local architect, designer and craftsman, Ernest Gimson, as a simple summer retreat for his brother Sydney.  It is a fine example of the Arts and Crafts style and remained in the family for three generations until Donald Gimson sold it to the NT in 2012.

The house is presented as it was in the 1950s when Donald moved in with his young family following the death of his father.  
Downstairs consists of a kitchen/dining room with attached pantry and a large spacious sitting room/lounge.  There are five bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floor.  All rooms are interestingly furnished (even down to the inclusion of the model railway in the family bedroom) and the white internal walls throughout provide a calming rustic feel.  The overall effect is pleasingly eccentric with narrow winding steps and rooms on different levels, even on the ‘same’ floor.

Externally the cottage has random stone walls built directly off the granite outcrops.  Originally it had a thatched roof but this was replaced with local slates after a fire in 1938.

The existing stable block houses the visitor centre, tea room and office and in conjunction with the obvious enthusiasm of the volunteers creates a very worthwhile visitor attraction.


National Trust Leicester Association

inding Stoneywell – Car Park in Whitcroft’s Lane, LE67 9QE

Directions using A50 from Leicester

Proceed on A50 to Markfield.  Continue on A50 at the Field Head roundabout.

At the next exit leave A50, signposted – Shepshed (B591), Copt Oak, Whitwick.

At the top of the slip road turn right, signposted – Shepshed (B591) & follow NT signs.


Directions from M1 Motorway

Leave the M1 at junction 22 (Markfield exit) and proceed along A50 towards Leicester.

At first exit, leave A50, signposted – Shepshed (B591), Markfield, Copt Oak, Whitwick.

At the top of the slip road turn right, signposted – Shepshed (B591) & follow NT signs.


Directions from Birstall, Syston, Rothley, Quorn

Either use A46 to A50 and use route as above or:-

Proceed to Newtown Linford and take Ulverscroft Lane (at north end of village)

At “T” junction at far end of Ulverscroft Lane turn left on to Priory Lane.

After approx 1 mile, at first cross roads, turn right on to Whitcroft’s Lane. The NT car park
 is 100 yards on the left. 

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