Having heard the incredible history of the estate and the Stonor family, you’re probably now planning to find a time to visit and, just in case you need any more incentive, we’re going to share with you some of the highlights and the fantastic events that take place throughout the year.
It’s not just in the summer months that Stonor hosts wonderful events. Following the Henley Craft Fair and Great Antiques Fair in early September, there’s a fabulous food festival in mid October, lots of spooky goings on around Halloween and endless shopping opportunities at the Country Homes and Interiors Christmas Fair in November.
Stonor Park is well worth a visit at any time of year. Most people catch their breathe at the first sight of the Manor house as they follow the sweeping driveway, it’s just beautiful. One of Stonor’s secrets emerges as you wander through the house, it is really a collection of old buildings of varying ages. The Pantry is housed in the medieval section of the house and the E shape that you now see was adopted in the 1540’s. My personal favourites are the Gothic Hall, home to the amazing heraldic history of the family, the 17th century library where I always want to pick a volume and lose myself for a couple of hours and the dramatic long gallery that opens out to the beautiful Italian gardens.
You will even find a prehistoric stone circle in the grounds now resting close to the beautiful Chapel next to the manor house. Lord Runcie, a former Archbishop of Canterbury said of the chapel “here in this chapel we are confronted by an awesome continuity of human experience…on this rock of one family’s enduring faith in good times and bad has indeed been built a church…” if you listen to our episode about the history of the Stonors, you will know just how true that is.
One of the beautiful sights in the parkland are the deer roaming and there are 3 gardens that are certainly worth visiting – even for a non gardener like me! The Italian Garden features some wonderful flowers and shrubs, the old kitchen garden is particularly beautiful in spring and summer with the apple and plum tree blossom and the young and old inhabitants of the arboretum create a wonderful place to wander while looking skywards.
Throughout the summer the park is a treasure trove for children as they search for Robin Hood and Pirates and Princesses in the Wonder Woods. For the slightly more mature visitor, you may choose the roaring engines at Super car Sunday or sit back and enjoy your favourite classic movie at the open-air cinema.
Our guests who visit Stonor Park not only enthuse about the beauty of the house and grounds, they tell us that it is warmth of the welcome and the fascinating family history that makes a visit to Stonor park truly memorable