Stonor Park has been the Stonor family’s residence for 850 years. Making it one of the oldest family homes still lived in today. Step back in time with us for an experience like no other!
When you visit, you will see why. It’s beautiful. The historic building and sweeping grounds are breath taking. And the family collection of art and artefacts is extraordinary. It’s fascinating. You can view the work of St. Edmund Campion, created when he was given refuge here in 1581. And outside sits our oldest resident: a perfectly preserved prehistoric stone circle.
“The faces looking out from the portraits around the house tell stories of service to the country, family life and great curiosity of the expanding world.” This expansion was curtailed with Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy as the Catholic Stonors refused to accept the monarch as head of the church. This unwavering commitment to their faith came at a great cost, and by 1650 all of the Stonor estates, barring the Stonor Valley, had been sold to pay recusancy fines.
After generations of lobbying, the Catholic Emancipation Act was eventually passed in 1829 at which point the 3rd Lord Camoys once more embraced government and public life. The current Lord Camoys served as Lord Chamberlain to the Queen until 2000 while his son William served in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Stonor is now home to three generations of the Stonor family – the Lord and Lady Camoys reside in the recently restored 14th Century Wool House, and the Hon. William and Lady Ailsa Stonor reside in the main house with their three children.
Home to the Stonor family for over 850 years, Stonor Park is one of the oldest family homes still lived in today - but it’s no museum.
Behind the warm red brick façade, Stonor is actually a collection of much older buildings. In fact its origins go back to Medieval times. The area now housing our cosy Stonor Pantry cafe dates from the late 12th Century, with the Chapel added around a hundred years later. Since then a series of additions and renovations, including the adoption of the E-shape in around 1540 have evolved into the extraordinary building you can see and explore today.
Highlights include the grand Gothic revival hall, atmospheric 17th century library and the dramatic long gallery opening on to beautiful Italianate gardens. The fortunes of the house and chapel are strongly tied to the travails of the Catholics in Britain. When Henry VIII formed the Church of England in the 1530s Catholics, including the Stonor family were forced to take a much reduced part in public life. Crippling fines were levied and many were persecuted and forced to go into hiding.
At Stonor there is a poignant reminder of these times in the roof space and priest hole where Sir Edmund Campion hid whilst printing the famous Ten Reasons’ pamphlet in the 1580s.
We recommend taking in the natural wonder of the surrounding parkland, with its lush green slopes fringed by a host of centuries-old beech and ash trees. This verdant habitat is the home of our ancient herd of fallow deer who have supplied venison to countless Kings and Queens throughout history. Living alongside the deer are badgers, hares, rabbits, pheasant, soaring red kites, ravens and buzzards.
The Italianate Pleasure Garden