Walking In Stanway

by | Oct 3, 2023 | Guide to The Cotswolds, Walking

From Stanway, it is a forty-minute walk along the Cotswold Way, which passes through the Stanway estate, to the neighboring village of Stanton, a handsome village much used for film because of its perfect state of preservation. The Mount Inn, which dispenses local ales, is located at the top end of the village’s main street. The ancient manor of Stanway was presented to Tewkesbury Abbey in 715 AD by two Mercian dukes, pleasingly named Odo and Dodo. In 1533, as the power of the monasteries diminished, Richard Tracy, the younger son of Sir William Tracy of nearby Toddington (the village that currently hosts the main depot for the railway) acquired the lease of the manor from Abbot Segar. Under exactly what circumstances one can only surmise, but it is sufficient to point out that Richard is known to have led the commission that dissolved nearby Hailes Abbey and therefore must have been in a strong position to have derived, one way or the other, certain advantages from his status. From about 1580, his son Paul rebuilt the house around the core of the early Tudor house. Following his death in 1620, his son, Sir Richard Tracy, continued the construction, which, in 1630, included the gatehouse. The work, therefore, was largely complete by the time of the Civil War later that century but, since the Tracy’s supported the King in the conflict, they were forced to compensate the victorious Parliamentarians in order to prevent the confiscation of the estate. The Stanway Tracy line came to an end in 1677, after which the property passed to Ferdinando Tracy, the second son of John, 3rd Viscount Tracy of Toddington.

Then, in 1817, the Tracy line came to a full stop. Stanway was inherited by Francis Charteris, the 8th Earl of Wemyss, and 4th Earl of March, the son of Francis Charteris and Susan, the great-granddaughter of Ferdinando Tracy. The present resident is Lord Neidpath, Earl of Wemyss, a direct descendant of Francis Charteris. Thus the property has remained in the same family for over four hundred and fifty years and has changed ownership only once in a thousand years.