While visiting Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, you’ll want to take some time to stop by some of the region’s beautiful manor house. One such manor house is the Jacobean Stanway House, well known for its lovely grounds and famous Stanway Fountain. The fountain rises more than 300 feet and is the tallest fountain in all of Britain. It’s also the second tallest fountain in all of Europe and the tallest gravity fountain in the world. The only fountain taller in Europe is the famous 400 foot fountain in Lake Geneva, which is driven by a turbine. While the fountain is probably the feature that accords the manor house its special fame above and beyond that of other houses in the area, it is just one of many reasons to consider adding the manor to your itinerary.
The house itself has an elegant façade constructed of the golden stone which is characteristic of Cotswolds architecture. Most of the furniture in the house is original and has been there since it was originally constructed. Part of the draw of the house for visitors is that unlike some other manor houses in the region, it doesn’t feel like a museum. It feels very much like a lived-in house, which means it is easy to imagine the lives of the people who did inhabit the house, including the Earls of Wemyss.
The gardens surrounding the Stanway House and Fountain are considered to be world class. The Stanway Watergarden was created in the 1720s, most likely by gardener Charles Bridgeman. Bridgeman is credited with creating the English gardening style that followed the previously popular Franco-Dutch style. The most famous feature is the Canal, which is a manmade waterfall situated on a terrace 25 feet above the house and another called the Cascade which comes from the water that flows out of the Pyramid Pond. There is also a lovely pond called the Tithe Barn Pond, wide green lawns, and delightful groves of trees providing shade.
The grounds also are home to the Stanway Watermill, which has been restored fully and operates now producing wholemeal and sifted flour. The flour is all grown locally on the estate itself. You’ll find the Mill on the grounds near the house and can take a tour of both the house and the mill with a combined ticket (which also gives you access to the gardens). Since the mill is actively producing wholemeal and flour, you can see the process at work and learn something about agriculture and see how the estate made food and income in centuries past.
Stanway House is located near the village of Stanway, which is a perfect place to find accommodations. You can also choose to stay in Stanton, which is one mile north of Stanway. In Stanway, you’ll also find St. Peter’s Church, the Stanway War Memorial, and many historic buildings and streets which can draw you into the beauty of the Cotswolds. You’ll discover charming bed and breakfast establishments there where you can relax and enjoy modern amenities in an old-fashioned atmosphere.