Stoneywell Talks Service

Group listening to speaker

Visiting Stoneywell is not the only way to be delighted by this special property. Thanks to our dedicated team of speakers we offer a talks service to bring our special Stoneywell story directly to you.

As many of you may know Stoneywell in Ulverscoft was acquired by the National Trust in 2012. It is a unique example of Arts and Crafts design set in four acres of a stunning garden. Designed as a summer residence by Leicestershire architect, craftsman and designer Ernest Gimson for his brother Sydney, the cottage is a model of Arts and Crafts ideals.

A blanket of bluebells at Stoneywell
Bluebells in the garden at Stoneywell
A blanket of bluebells at Stoneywell

In June 2013, long before Stoneywell was ready to open, a group of four volunteers who had some experience of public speaking were invited to a meeting in the cottage which at the time was covered in scaffolding and the furniture that remained was sealed.

" We started giving illustrated talks more than a year before we had the soft opening in 2014 so we were, in many ways, introducing Leicestershire’s new property to WIs, Heritage Groups and other organisations."
- Marea Roberts, Volunteer

 We now have a team of nine  well qualified speakers who can give illustrated talks on the following to local groups and societies:

•    Arts and Crafts - architecture
•    Arts and Crafts – furniture
•    The Arts and Crafts Movement and its relationship with Stoneywell
•    Ernest Gimson his life and work
•    Conservation at Stoneywell (available after March 2017)
•    Ernest Gimson – his work in Leicestershire
•    General talk on Stoneywell
•    The Gimson Story – three generations at Stoneywell
•    Stoneywell garden 
•    Visiting and volunteering at Stoneywell – a half hour talk suitable for lunch time meetings.        (No donation is expected for this talk.)
•    William Morris

The oak table and ladderback chairs in Stoneywell's dining room
The dining room at Stoneywell
The oak table and ladderback chairs in Stoneywell's dining room

Our speakers are volunteers who donate their own time to provide this service. In recognition of this, and as a charity independent of Government, the National Trust would appreciate a donation towards our work at Stoneywell if you decide to take up this service. We suggest a minimum donation of £50.00. If your group has a relatively small number of members the donation amount can be discussed with the speaker, and if you’re group is over 50 in number we suggest a donation of approximately £1.00 x the number of people attending. Travel expenses for speakers are paid for by the National Trust.

A stack of books at Stoneywell, Leicestershire, awaiting conservation

If you would like to book a talk, or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact our Volunteer Stoneywell Speakers Co-ordinator Christine Hodgson.

Tel: 07791389372