The Gimson family was familiar with this part of the Charnwood Forest and one of Gimson’s youthful notebooks contains nature notes made during walks in Lea Lane in 1880.

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Gimson Architecture

Sydney Gimson continued to enjoy rambling and camping in the area in his spare time. The opportunity to have a simple summer retreat in the area was very attractive and he commissioned Gimson to design and build a cottage on the land he purchased. The two brothers were close and Stoneywell – Gimson’s most innovative building – was the result of a supportive relationship between client and architect.

It was a difficult site, with hilly outcrops of hard rock. Gimson boldly took the decision to use these as the foundations wherever possible. At the highest point, set on the natural foundations, was a massive stone chimney its design articulated by slabs of slate.

Stoneywell is now a National Trust visitor attraction and is available to tour by booking.

Read more about Stoneywell here.