Photographer's Note

This was a very cold day and every time the swans etc. landed they slid and tried to aim for open water.
I have put the same image with a higer point of view in the workshop.

The hamlet of Staunton Harold, a dozen houses in all, nestles in a corner of north west Leicestershire, close to the Derbyshire border. For five hundred years it was at the core of the Staunton Harold Estate, and the hall was home to the Shirley family, who became Earls Ferrers.

The Shirley family have had a long history, and several changes of fortune. Sir Robert Shirley, a Royalist, built the church in the hall grounds in defiance of Cromwell and died a prisoner in the Tower of London. With the restoration of the monarchy his son was made first a Baron and then an Earl. The 4th Earl murdered his steward in the Hall and was tried and condemned by his peers, becoming the last peer of the realm to be hanged. His brother, the 5th Earl, inheriting in 1760, restored the family fortunes and rebuilt the Hall much as we see it today.
The 10th Earl inherited as a boy in 1859 and maintained a magnificent establishment until his death in 1912. He sold off three quarters of his estates and left his successor much impoverished. In 1954 the 12th Earl put the remaining estate up for auction, having first gifted the church to the National Trust.

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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 66 N: 610] (2024)
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