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The Stanton Guildhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Stanton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 52.0061 / 52°0'21"N

Longitude: -1.8946 / 1°53'40"W

OS Eastings: 407328

OS Northings: 234190

OS Grid: SP073341

Mapcode National: GBR 3MK.1V9

Mapcode Global: VHB17.3VQ0

Plus Code: 9C4W2444+C4

Entry Name: The Stanton Guildhouse

Listing Date: 11 June 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1387298

English Heritage Legacy ID: 475245

Location: Stanton, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, WR12

County: Gloucestershire

District: Tewkesbury

Civil Parish: Stanton

Built-Up Area: Stanton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Stanton and Snowshill

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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1376/11/10005 The Stanton Guildhouse


Craft education centre and place of retreat. 1963- 73 to the designs of Iorwerth Williams, a local architect, modified in the course of construction by Dave Twinberrow, Clerk of Works, for Mary Osborn, the inspiration for the Guildhouse. Largely built by voluntary labour, with Jim and Jack Powell, stonemasons, and including many local residents and members of the International Voluntary Service. Local stone and concrete block construction, with stone quoins and stone slate roofs. Traditional plan of central hall flanked by wings, the largest to left as viewed from garden front, with small wing to rear and lower range to right. Two storeys with semi-basement to left-hand wing, on dramatically sloping hillside site. Four stacks, two in main left-hand wing, the others to right.
Main four-bay front, with two lower bays set forward under sloping roof. Large windows to left, smaller upper windows under rendered dormer gables, with a similarly treated window in return angle of left-hand wing. The dormer windows comprise timber casements with small panes; the other windows have similar windows in stone surrounds with unmoulded mullions. Boarded double doors set in bay left of centre with long iron hinges under curved stone arch. Above it a stone plaque carved with the Guildhouse's symbol of a cross set within a spinning wheel, based on an original version made in iron by Bill Martin. To right, a plaque records that:
'Mary Osborn (1906-1996) lovingly inspired the creation of this beautiful guildhouse opened at Pentecost 1973 "Every noble life leaves the fabric of it forever woven in the work of the world"'.
Mullion windows in side elevations. Rear dominated by gable end of projecting inglenook stack, with plaque bearing date 1963. Projecting single-storey wing contains the principal entrance, a boarded door with large hinges under canted arch.
The interior is deliberately simple. The principal room in the centre of the house has a York stone paved floor and stone inglenook fireplace under broad timber hood. Exposed timbers to ceiling. Closed baluster stair, made by Ray Turner from a design by Martin Wharmby, rises from the left-hand end to upper floor. Behind this are the kitchen and dining room; the latter has stone fireplace under rendered hood, the words FECIT MARIA record that Mary Osborn laid the stonework herself. In rear wing a small entrance hall, lavatories and office. A staircase leads to the basement pottery studio and boiler room. At the other end of the hall is a crafts room used for weaving. Small rooms upstairs, their fine boarded doors with iron hinges and simple timber latches. Similarly well made are the cupboards that line the spinal corridor. At far end, over the weaving room, is the room in which Mary Osborn made her home, with a fireplace, and beyond it a storeroom formerly occupied by her nurse.
Mary Osborn was a devout Christian and pacifist. In 1931 she met Mahatma Gandhi, for she was working in the Kingsley Hall settlement in Bow, (listed, lB Tower Hamlets), counselling the unemployed and teaching spinning to the local girls, when Gandhi stayed there. In India he had encouraged handspinning as a means by which the poorest members-of a community could make a living (Khadi), and he inspired Osborn with his belief that there is a spirituality in the simplest of human activities, particularly in the simplest of traditional handicrafts. He gave to Kingsley Hall the spinning wheel presented to him as a symbol of his Khadi movement by Indian students in London, and it is now in the main guildroom at Stanton. At the outbreak of World War II Osborn settled in Laverton, near Stanton, and in both villages set up classes to engender a community spirit through the war and to perpetuate traditional rural crafts at the moment when rural life began to change forever. She dreamed of a guildhouse as a centre in which her dream of a community sharing its skills in the service of God could find fulfilment. In 1953 she was given two acres at Stanton and raised funds over the next ten years. The stone and stone slates were given to her from local buildings that had been demolished.
Although built mainly by amateurs, the Guildhouse has a genuine architectural quality, its detailing simple but strong and entirely appropriate to the building's concept. Local craftsmen contributed various items. The building continues the spirit of the crafts revival begun at nearby Chipping Camden by C R Ashbee in 1906, and continued with the work of Gordon Russell and others at Broadway (still nearer) in the inter-war period. The building takes its place as part of the distinguished Arts and Crafts movement that had its base in the Cotswolds and was the basis of the post-war crafts revival.
Mary Osborn, Stone upon Stone, The Story of the Stanton Guildhouse, Stanton, 1995 Stanton Guildhouse, I remember the Guildhouse, Stanton Guildhouse Trust, 1996 Mary Greensted, The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds, Stroud, 1993

Listing NGR: SP0691834230

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