Traditions at Stoneywell

Stoneywell Stables in the snow

As the second season at Stoneywell comes to a close, we're reflecting on the past two years and looking ahead to traditions to come.

One of the first things we think about when it comes to Christmas is cards – the process of buying, writing and sending them comes around so quickly each year! Sir Henry Cole is credited as being the first person to send greetings cards at Christmas time, introducing the world's first commercial Christmas card in 1843. Christmas cards account for 45% of all greetings cards sent in the UK!

A robin sits on the branch of a tree

An iconic Christmas image is that of the robin, and we all enjoy looking out for our red breasted friend throughout the autumn and winter months at Stoneywell. It was during the fifteenth century, when it became popular to give human names to familiar species, that the bird came to be known as robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin. Robins choose a wide variety of sites for building a nest, in fact anything which can offer some shelter, like a depression or hole may be considered. As well as the usual crevices and sheltered banks, odder places include bristles on upturned brooms, watering cans, flower pots and hats. The nest is composed of moss, leaves and grass, with finer grass, hair and feathers for lining.

Stoneywell is beginning a new tradition this winter, and we need your help to make it happen. From November 1st there will be the opportunity to create a link for a paper chain in the stables, on this link we’d like you to write a message, observation or Christmas memory – whatever you like! Each week we will then be creating paper chains ready for display in the cottage during the last week of November as part of our Step into Christmas event. This tradition will continue each year and we’ll see the Stoneywell paper chain collection begin to grow – will you be able to spot yours next year?

Step Into Christmas 

26th-27th November
Take your time to explore the house, help us to decorate with paper chains on Saturday 26th and make your own Christmas flower arrangement, using flowers from the Stoneywell garden, on Sunday 27th.