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Exploring National Trust's Stoneywell Cottage: an Arts and Crafts Masterpiece

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National Trust owned Stoneywell Cottage is currently providing the backdrop for the BBCs Make it at Market tv programme

As seen on the BBC's "Make it at Market" Programme

If you're a fan of the BBC's Make it at Market tv programme, you may have been struck by the beautiful and serene backdrop of the show. The location of the programme is none other than the National Trust-owned Stoneywell Cottage. This Arts and Crafts inspired cottage is located in the rugged Charnwood Forest region of Leicestershire, and is considered to be one of the most important works of designer and builder Ernest Gimson.

The picturesque cottage was built in 1898 -99, by Ernest Gimson, for his elder brother Sydney, who wanted a summer countryside bolthole for his family, away from the growing city of Leicester. Ernest Gimson (1864-1919) was a leading member of the Arts and Crafts movement. He is known for his simple, rustic designs, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, functionality, and use of local materials. His traditional designs were considered to be a reaction against the mass-produced, Victorian-era furniture that was prevalent at the time. Gimson's work was highly respected by his contemporaries and continues to be admired by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

An old typewriter on a desk, inside National Trust Stoneywell Cottage. The furniture in the room is simple.
The Arts and Crafts inspired interior of Stoneywell Cottage is simple, with much of the furniture designed by Ernest Gimson

Nestled into the hillside, the cottage features multiple levels. The design is simple and rustic, featuring local materials such as Charnwood stone and oak. Inside there are rough finishes, steep staircases and exposed beams. The living area features a large chimney, with inbuilt seating and many of Gimson's original furniture and fittings can still be seen in Stoneywell Cottage today.

The cottage also boasts a beautiful English country garden, where Gimson and his friends experimented with different plants and flowers. The garden is a perfect complement to the cottage, and a great example of the Arts and Crafts style, with a mix of wild and formal elements. In spring the surrounding woodland is full of bluebells and the acidic soil allows colourful rhododendron to thrive here. There are around 150 different varieties in the grounds, ensuring a long and spectacular display. In autumn, the hillside surrounding the cottage is ablaze with flowering heathers.

Imagineer elf National Trust Stoneywell Cottage showing how it is built into the hillside. Heather is in  the foreground.
National Trust Stoneywell nestles into the surrounding hillside. The heather is a riot of colour in late summer.

Stoneywell Cottage is situated in the Charnwood Forest region of Leicestershire. The area is known for its rugged beauty and is characterised by rocky outcrops, heaths and moorlands. When designing the cottage, Ernest Gimson was keen to nestle the cottage into the surrounding landscape and to design around it.

National Trust at Stoneywell

In the 1930's Stoneywell was upgraded by Humphrey Gimson and the cottage was lived in by members of the family until 2012.

Following a funding appeal, the National Trust acquired Stoneywell from the Gimson family in 2015. They have undertaken significant works to preserve the character and original features at Stoneywell, whilst also making it accessible to the public.

The cottage is perfect for those interested in architecture, design, and gardening, and is a peaceful retreat for all visitors. However, please note that Stoneywell is a small site with limited opening hours, and advanced booking is essential. All visits begin from a car park a short distance from the cottage, and there are no refreshment facilities available at present. However, the gardens are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day.

The Charnwood Forest

Ancient Charnwood Forest is an area of outstanding natural beauty in Leicestershire. It is known for its diverse landscape, including rocky outcrops, heaths, and moorlands, as well as its ancient woodlands and rich wildlife. Walking and cycling are the perfect ways to admire the far reaching views and geology of this peaceful region in the heart of England.

Choose your perfect EBike or walking holiday

We would love to help find your perfect walking or EBike holiday. Contact us on or on 01530 417482 to discuss your requirements.


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