What is the history of Stonor Park?

Stonor Park is a magnificent manor house in stunning parkland set in the heart of the Chiltern hills, it also boasts an incredible history stretching back over the last 850 years.

We are incredibly lucky to have Stonor Park right on our doorstep. Not only does it play host to some fabulous events throughout the year from Supercar Sunday to the Country Homes & Interiors Christmas Fair, the house and the family have experienced and contributed to some incredible historical events.

The Stonor family have lived in Stonor Park for the last 850 years, making it probably the oldest continuous residence of any family in the UK, but it’s no museum and, as the oldest member of the Stonor family, the house has many stories to tell.

The first recorded member of the family, Robert de Stanora, lived at Stonor in the late 12th century and for the next 3 centuries the family and the estate thrived and prospered. The Stonors fought in great battles, held high office and made some rather advantageous marriages acquiring land and titles along the way.

However, the fortunes of the family and the house are strongly tied to the fortunes of the Catholic faith in this country, and when Henry VIII formed the Church of England with the Act of Supremacy in the 1530’s times changed for the Stonor family. Their unwavering Catholic faith resulted in crippling taxes being levied and the loss of all of the estates, bar the Stonor valley, by the late 1560’s.

St Edmund Campion, who was martyred for his Catholic faith in 1581, had strong links to the family and it was their protection and support that enabled him to print the “10 reasons”, a hugely controversial pamphlet, the distribution of which ultimately led to his torture and execution.

The Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829 and the third Lord Camoys embraced the restored feedoms and threw himself into public life. The current Lord Camoys served as Lord Chamberlain to Her Majesty The Queen until 2000 and his son William served in the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

The Stonor family has also contributed to the special relationship enjoyed by America and Great Britain. The wedding between Ralph Stonor and Mildred Sherman in 1911, the daughter of one of the founders of Browns University in the US, started a bond, which has continued to be wonderfully strong, between the American and British arms of both families.

It is wonderful to see 3 generation of the Stonor family living at Stonor Park offering real confidence for the future prosperity of this precious piece of British history. The estate is once again thriving, in a very different way from previous centuries, but one which will secure its future.

The manor house, as the oldest member of the family, is learning new family stories and secrets, and visitors to the house and grounds will feel the sense of history at every turn, while being given a wonderfully warm welcome.