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Stanway House (Stanway Manor)

  • Earlier Houses: The original manor of Stanway (meaning "stony way") was granted to the abbots of Tewkesbury in 715; the estate remained in monastic ownership until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the early 16th century. After the dissolution a house was built here, probably incorporating earlier monastic elements. In the late 16th century the estate came into the ownership of the Tracy family, whose descendants, the earls of Wemyss and March, continue to own Stanway today.

    Built / Designed For: Sir Paul Tracy

    House & Family History: The Tracys, who created today's Stanway House, were apparently a greedy and tenacious bunch, being descended from William Tracy, one of the four knights who murdered Thomas a Becket. Sir Paul Tracy began the building of what became Stanway House, together with the famous gatehouse, in the early 17th century (in the honey-colored Cotswold limestone that virtually everything on the estate is built of). Sir Humphrey Tracy probably added the south facade in the 1650s. The Great Hall is famous for its enormous oriel window, which features more than 1,000 panes of latticed glass. The son of the 7th Earl of Wemyss, Lord Elcho, married the heiress to Stanway, Susan Tracy-Keck, in the 19th century and the estate thus passed to the Charteris family (earls of Wemyss and March). The 10th Earl of Wemyss gave his son, Hugo, Lord Elcho (killed in 1916 during the Great War), Stanway upon his marriage to Mary Wyndham. Mary was a leader of the artistic group known as The Souls and Stanway became the Cotswold headquarters of this intellectual assemblage. In almost 1,300 years Stanway has changed hands only once, other than by inheritance.

    Comments: Arthur Negus considered Stanway one of the most beautiful and romantic houses in England. The house was called "As perfect and pretty a Cotswold manor house as anyone is likely to see" by Fodor's 1998 Great Britain guidebook. Lady Cynthia Asquith, writing in "Remember and Be Glad:" "I can't remember anyone who didn't fall under the spell of Stanway." James Lees-Milne called it "incontestably one of the most beautiful and romantic [houses] in the British Isles."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The grounds contain the amazing gatehouse—a mixture of Renaissance, Mannerist, and late Gothic styles, a Medieval tithe barn, the dogs' graveyard, a pyramid, the cascade, the upper pond, and the Grand Canal. The Baroque water gardens were restored in 1998; the gravity-fed single-jet fountain (opened June 5, 2004) shoots up 300 feet, making it the tallest gravity fountain in the world and the second-tallest fountain in Europe, after the 400-foot-high turbine-driven fountain in Lake Geneva. The fountain has a two-inch bronze nozzle and is driven from a 100,000-gallon reservoir 580 feet above the canal on the scarp.

    Chapel & Church: The fine Norman church is built of the same honey-colored limestone as the house.

  • Architect: Detmar Jellings Blow

    Date: 1913
    Designed: Alterations for 10th Earl of Wemyss

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    Architect: Timothy Strong

    Date: 17th century
    Designed: Gatehouse and North Arch
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: William Burn

    Date: 1859-60
    Designed: Additions (partly demolished 1948-49) and Stable Block for 9th Earl of Wemyss

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    Architect: Smith Family

    Date: 1724
    Designed: Alterations for John Tracy

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  • Country Life: V, 816, 1899. CXXXVI, 1490, 1646, 1964.

  • Title: Manor Houses of England
    Author: Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh; Simon Sykes, Christopher
    Year Published: 2001
    Reference: pgs. 183-187
    Publisher: New York: The Vendome Press
    ISBN: 0865651566
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "The Good Soldier" (1981 - TV movie). "Jeeves and Wooster" (1990 - TV series, in the episode "The Purity of the Turf" [aka "The Village Sports Day at Twing," aka "The Gambling Event"], Stanway was Twing Hall). "The Buccaneers" (1995 - TV mini series, as Honourslove, the home of Guy and Sir Helmsley Twaite). "Emma" (1996 - TV mini series, as Donwell Abbey). "Berkeley Square" (1998 - TV mini series). "The Clandestine Marriage" (1999 - the movie was filmed entirely at Stanway). "The Wyvern Mystery" (2000 - TV mini series, as Wyvern Manor, the Squire's home). "Vanity Fair" (2004). "The Libertine" (2004). "Hidden Treasure Houses" (2004 - half-hour documentary by James Miller of Sotheby's). "The Christmas Candle" (2013). "Wolf Hall" (2015 - BBC TV mini series). "Father Brown" (2017 - BBC TV series, as the Malmort family home in the episode "The Labyrinth of the Minotaur").
  • Current Seat / Home of: James Donald Charteris, 13th Earl of Wemyss and 9th Earl of March

    Past Seat / Home of: Sir Paul Tracy, 1st Bt., until 1626; Sir Richard Tracy, 2nd Bt., 1626-37; Sir Humphrey Tracy, 3rd Bt., 1637-58; Sir Richard Tracy, 4th Bt., 1658-66; Sir John Tracy, 5th Bt., 1666-78. Francis Wemyss-Charteris, 9th Earl of Wemyss and 5th Earl of March, until 1883; Francis Richard Charteris, 10th Earl of Wemyss and 6th Earl of March, 1883-1914; Hugo Richard Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss and 7th Earl of March, 1914-37; Francis David Charteris, 12th Earl of Wemyss and 8th Earl of March, 1937–2008.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01386-584-469

    Fax: 01386-584-688

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.stanwayfountain.co.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: Yes