Open main menu

Stanway House is a Jacobean manor house, located near the village of Stanway in Gloucestershire, England. The manor of Stanway was owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years[1] then for 500 years by the Tracy family and their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss and March.

Stanway House
Stanway House front, 2006
General information
Town or cityStanway, Gloucestershire
Openedlate 16th and early 17th century
OwnerJames Charteris, 13th Earl of Wemyss

Stanway House, originally constructed in the late 16th and early 17th century for the Tracy family, is a Grade I listed building.[2] The principal rooms are in a long south-facing range forming an L-shape with the hall, unlike the usual Tudor house plan of a central hall. The north-east wing, remodelled in 1913 by Detmar Blow, was demolished in 1948. The kitchen court was designed by William Burn in 1859. The Gatehouse was built in about 1630. The construction includes Guiting Yellow stone and some Jacobean mullions and gables.[3]

The then Lord Neidpath, now the 13th Earl of Wemyss and March, has pursued a program of restoration for a number of years. The house and grounds are open to the public on a limited basis each summer.[4]


The estateEdit

The gardens are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[5] The estate brewery, an original Elizabethan feature has, with the permission of Lord Neidpath, recently been re-established.[6]

The Stanway House gatehouse

Cutsdean Quarry, which is a nature reserve and designated a Key Wildlife Site (KWS) in the Cotswolds, is part of the Stanway Estate.[7]

J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, was a frequent visitor during summers in the 1920s, until 1932.[8]

The Long Canal was filled in around 1850 but was restored in the early 2000s,[3] a necessary step to creating the current fountain, which was not an original feature of the estate. The mill pond was dredged[9] and the eight ponds and the cascade[10] were restored at about the same time.[11] [12][13][14]

The ancient tithe barn was built in about 1370 for Tewkesbury Abbey and restored in 1927.[10] The Estate watermill, just outside the grounds, has been restored to full working condition and produces wholemeal and sifted flour.[10]

Early historyEdit

The current earl recounted his understanding of the history of the property during a 2016 interview with the publication Cotswold Homes, as follows:[3]

"The estate goes back to 715, we think. It was given to Tewkesbury Abbey by Odo and Dodo, two Saxons who lived in the Winchcombe area. Then in 1533 it was leased to Richard Tracy. Richard had a bee in his bonnet about the fact his father was declared to be a heretic after he was already dead, his body being dug up and burnt. So he became friendly with Thomas Cromwell, who was leading an anti-monastic campaign at the time. Cromwell – who was so powerful at that point - suggested the abbey lease the land to Richard and it was done within four days of Cromwell writing the letter."

Records from 1291 indicate that the estate had three corn mills and a fulling mill used for processing wool from the many sheep owned by the abbey. The latter was converted in the late 17th century to grind corn and is now the Stanway Watermill.[9]

Another source states that the work on the House began around 1580 on the ruins of an earlier Tudor house, with construction commissioned by Paul Tracy, Richard Stacy's son. The triple gabled Jacobean gateway was created by Paul's son, Sir Richard Tracy, in 1630.[14] The water features were probably added by John Tracy who was the lord during 1724-35.

The fountainEdit

The fountain

Stanway House is also home to the Stanway Fountain, which was opened on 5 June 2004. The single-jet fountain, which rises to over 300 feet (91 m), is the tallest fountain in Britain (seconded by Witley Court at 121 feet (37 m)), the tallest gravity-fed fountain in the world[11] (seconded by the Fountain of Fame at La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, Spain at 153 feet (47 m)), and the second tallest fountain in Europe, after the 400 feet (120 m) high turbine-driven fountain in Lake Geneva. [14]

The fountain has a 2 inches (5.1 cm) bronze nozzle and is driven from a 100,000-gallon reservoir, above the canal in which it is situated. The reservoir is 530 feet (160 m) above the canal.[3] The 12 inches (30 cm) diameter pipe which feeds the fountain is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) long.[15]

Family use and mediaEdit

The house is the home of James Charteris, 13th Earl of Wemyss and his wife, drug policy reformer Amanda Feilding. It also the family home of Fielding's son, Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council’s deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen, who has been involved in the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.[16] During some summer months, the property is open to tourists.[3]

In the Jeeves and Wooster TV series, Twing Hall was filmed at Stanway House for the episode "The Purity of the Turf".[citation needed] Interiors for the 2004 film Vanity Fair were shot there.[17] It was also used for The Christmas Candle.[18][19] In the Season 5 Episode 2 "The Labyrinth of the Minotaur" of Father Brown the house features as the home of the Malmort family, the location of the maze.[20]

Parts of the 1996 television adaptation of Emma and The Libertine were also filmed here. In 2015 the television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall also featured the building.[21][22][3]



  1. ^ "Stanway House & Fountain near Broadway Cotswolds | Visit Broadway".
  2. ^ Historic England. "Stanway House (134908)". National Heritage List for England.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dicks, Matt (27 January 2016). "Stanway House - At home with Lord Wemyss". Cotswold Homes. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Visitor Information", Plan your visit to Stanway House & Fountain. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Historic England, "Stanway House (1000480)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 February 2016
  6. ^ "Stanway Brewery". Stanway Brewery. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  7. ^ "Cotswold District Local Plan, Appendix 2, Key Wildlife Sites". Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Bingham, Jane. The Cotswolds: A Cultural History. pp. 74–75.
  9. ^ a b Express, Britain. "Stanway Watermill, History & Photos | Historic Gloucestershire Guide". Britain Express.
  10. ^ a b c "Stanway House, The Cotswolds - Cotswold Journeys". Cotswold Journeys - Walking Tours & Hiking Vacations.
  11. ^ a b Pauling, Keith. "Discovering The Cotswold Way". – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "STANWAY HOUSE, Stanway - 1000480 | Historic England".
  13. ^ "Stanway House & Fountain". STANWAY.
  14. ^ a b c Express, Britain. "Stanway Water Garden, Gloucestershire Travel Information". Britain Express.
  15. ^ ""The Fountain" at". 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  16. ^ "Londoner's Diary: K&C's Rock Feilding-Mellen avoids family estate bash". London Evening Standard. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Vanity Fair". The Castles and Manor Houses of Cinema's Greatest Period Films. Architectural Digest. January 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "The Cotswolds on Film - Movies". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  19. ^ "The Christmas Candle (2013)". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  20. ^ ""Father Brown" The Labyrinth of the Minotaur (TV Episode 2017) - IMDb" – via
  21. ^ Meredith, Joe. "19 famous filming locations in the Cotswolds". Cotswold Life.
  22. ^ "BBC Two - Wolf Hall - Wolf Hall: the locations". BBC.

Other sourcesEdit

External linksEdit