History of Stanway
House, north-east of Winchcombe, Glos
By Michael Ford
A N W A Y
U S E
Superb Elizabethan House and Related
ancient manor of Stanway in the Cotswolds
was presented to Tewkesbury Abbey in the
year 715 by two Mercian leaders Odo and
Dodo. It was the first and only remote
property owned by the Abbey until the 12th
century when land was acquired in Dorset.
Stanway supported four monks.
Richard Tracy, the younger son of Sir
William Tracy of Toddington obtained the
lease of the manor from Abbot Segar.
Richard is known to have led the
commission that dissolved Hailes Abbey
and it was around this time that he was
able to purchase the freehold to Stanway.
It was his son Paul who rebuilt the house
incorporating some of the early Tudor
house in it. This work started in about
1580. Paul Tracy was created Baronet in
1611 and died in 1620. His son, Sir
Richard Tracy, continued building and it
was he who had the magnificent gatehouse
erected in 1630. He died however in 1637.
The house was completed around 1640 by
Sir Pauls grandson Sir Humphrey
Tracy. Sir Humphrey supported the King
during the Civil War and for this he had
to pay heavily in compensation to stop
his property being confiscated. He died
in 1651 without issue so the title and
property was inherited by his brother
Richard who also died without issue in
1666 with everything passing to the
younger brother John. When Sir John died
in 1677 the Stanway line came to an end
and the property passed to Ferdinando
Tracy the second son John 3rd
Viscount Tracy of Toddington.
line continued at Stanway until 1817 when
it was inherited by Francis Charteris the
8th Earl of Wemyss and 4th
Earl of March the son of Francis
Charteris and his wife Susan (nee
Tracy-Keck) who was the great
granddaughter of Ferdinando Tracy. The
present resident is Lord Neidpath a
direct descendant of Francis Charteris.
Thus the property remained in the same
family for over 450 years.
is built of soft mellow yellow stone
under a stone roof. The gabled west front
is the Elizabethan and oldest part of the
house and includes the hall. The great
hall is extraordinarily light and airy
having an enormous full height bay window
and further bays at the south end.
Manorial courts were held here up until
about 1800 and the raised dais at one end
is still in place. The south front is
from the Stuart period and contains all
the principal rooms. A short flight of
stairs leads from the hall into the
drawing room in which are a pair of
unique Chinese Chippendale
day beds from about 1760 which came from
the Wemyss seat at Amisfield House in
East Lothian, Scotland. Further along is
the Elcho Lobby followed by
ascending stairs to the library passage
from which an oak staircase leads to the
upper storey. Off the passage is the old
library, which has only one window and is
the warmest room in the house in the
winter. At the end of the passage is the
Elcho sitting room, very
comfortable and lived in. The other wings
have been demolished leaving the house
with an L plan.
garden, up the hill to the rear is a
canal above that is a pyramid built by
Robert Tracy in 1750 honouring his father
John Tracy who died in 1735. A cascade,
which has been restored over the last few
years, runs from here to the canal where
a 70ft fountain spouts into the air.
gatehouse is a gem, one of the best
pieces of architecture in the Cotswolds.
It was built for Sir Richard Tracy in
1630. It is unusually positioned at right
angles to the house, presumably because
the church was in the way in front of the
house. The lodges, either side of the
gateway, have narrow bay widows and the
whole is topped by shaped gables crowned
with Tracy scallop shells. The archway
has fluted columns either side. It is a
very attractive building.
barn is medieval built around 1370 for
Tewkesbury Abbey. It has a stone roof
supported by massive base cruck timbers.
Apart from the main entrances it has a
small 13th century stone
doorway. It is a fine building and is now
used for events and as a theatre.
of St. Peter is basically 12th
century but was drastically over-restored
by the Victorians.
of buildings make a superb sight in their