Long Bennington History Society


Society member, National Trust volunteer and local resident Colin Deeley gave an amusing and fluid account of Stoneywell Cottage, a NT property in the Charnwood Forest, Ulverscroft, Leicestershire. Built between 1898-9 by architect Ernest Gimson for his brother Sydney as a family retreat it is a superb example of the Arts and Crafts movement sponsored by Pugin, Ruskin, Morris and others. The Arts and Crafts movement evolved through the rejection of the over ornamented and “fussy” Victorian furniture and buildings and encouraged the design and construction of more simpler designs which were functional but most importantly were beautiful to the  beholder.

Ernest employed architect/stonemason Detmor Blow who sourced the stone from old drystone walls with the minimum of dressing although the interiors are white. The house appears from the crest of the hill and zig zags down several levels, it originally was thatched but a fire in 1939 meant the rebuild was with local slate from abandoned quarries in Swithland. Furniture made by the Gimsons and their friends the Barnsley brothers are unquestionably A and C but the construction of the house is arguably not in the full spirit of the movement particularly the functional part. Floor levels are accessed by split and tight spiral staircases, the latter needing a rope assisted ascent! Entry is by advance booking only.


LBHS is applying for a grant from the Co-op for the Living History Project.

Next meeting “92 Squadron, Restoration of a Locomotive” followed by the AGM.