Things we love
What people have said...

Stunning cottage in a beautiful location, definitely 5 star, thanks so much.

Michelle, Gareth and kids, Bedford

Excellent 5 star accomodation and setting. Hope to return again.

Mike and Bev, Plymouth

About Sturston Hall

We (Chris & Claudia Whale) have proudly owned Sturston Hall since September 2011 and we are learning more about our home every day!

The Hall has been here since the 17th century, but in actual fact the first mention of Sturston Hall is in the Domesday Book (DB6,56). "There two manors in Fenton and Sturston of half a carucate were held by Ulfkell and Wodi."  A carucate was a Danish unit of land comprising 8 bovates, a bovate being the amount of land one ox-team could plough in one day.

After the Norman Conquest the two manors were given to Henry de Ferrers. By the thirteenth century the tenant of Sturston was Henry de Sturston and his wife, Lettice. In 1296 their son Thomas held 2 acres at Sturston and in the same year their son John sued Henry de la Green of Sturston for seizing his "mare and other beasts". By 1348 Sir Ralf Rochfort inherited Grendon, Sturston, and Shenstone. He married Joanna, daughter of Sir Hugh de Meynell of Meynell Langley nearby. They had no children so in 1386 the estates passed to 1st Lord Grendon, Sir William Chetwynd of Ingestre, Staffordshire. He sold the manor of Sturston to John Kniveton of Bradley, son of Sir John Kniveton. John Kniveton died without issue around 1401, and his next brother, William had been "killed in a tumult" that year so the third brother Henry succeeded.

Records tell us Henry was living in 1428, and also as late as 1470. Married to Joan, he had 3 sons and a daughter. Henry, the first son, died before his father, but had married Elizabeth and had a son, Richard. The second son was William and the third was John who actually lived at Sturston. He had no heirs. Richard Kniveton inherited in about 1480, married Maud, daughter of John Frescerville of Stavely Hall Derbyshire. He died in 1524 leaving 2 sons. Richard, the eldest of these two boys succeeded to Bradley Hall but John succeeded to Sturston Hall. We do not know of any children.

By 1514 Sturston was rented to the Lowe family of Derby, but by 1540 John, uncle of Matthew Kniveton was given a 21 year lease of Sturston Hall; if he lived it out, it would establish him here as late as 1562. The estates of Bradley, Kniveton and Sturston went to his wife’s family; Thomas Kniveton of Mercaston, Mrs Kniveton`s brother. The house during this time was tenanted out unless needed by the family.

By 1630 Sir Gilbert Kniveton, 2nd Baronet had inherited Bradley and Sturston estates. Sir Gilbert was High Sheriff of Derbyshire and in 1624 married Mary having 2 sons and 3 daughters. Daughter, Mary, married the well known cavalier, Sir Aston Cokayne of Ashbourne Hall. Matilda married Thomas Pegg of Yeldersley (father of Catherine Pegg, a mistress of Charles 11). Jane married Henry Neville. During the Kniveton period Sturston Hall had been let (except when a younger son needed it to live in). As early as 1430 William Cockayne was living here. He was the 2nd son of Sir John Cockayne of Ashbourne Hall by Isabel, daughter of Sir Hugh Shirley. His son, Roger, succeeded to the tenancy of Sturston and married Catherine Alsop of Alsop Hall, nearby. His son, William, moved to Baddesley Ensor, around 1570. The Cockaynes sublet Sturston Hall (or surrendered their lease to the Kniveton's) for although we do not know the names of all the tenants until the end of the Civil War, we do know it was lived in by one Charles Calver, yeoman, in 1664, when he was taxed for 6 hearths.

By 1655 the estates of Bradley and Sturston were sold to Francis Meynell. Francis was the 4th son and was a citizen and goldsmith of London. Godfrey Meynell was the eldest son and heir. He was High Sheriff of Derby. The estates passed to Hugh Charles Meynell. He sold Willington to the Harpers of Calke and Sturston to a Stoddart in about 1847.

Mrs Elizabeth Stoddart was Lady of The Manor in 1857 with around 700 acres. The Tomlinson family farmed around here and for some considerable time lived in the Hall. On 23rd March 1918 Sturston Hall was sold to Clement Allen who died in 1938. The Allen family had several sons and daughters. The boys were all keen Shrovetide players, goaling many balls between them. Doris Allen was the last remaining member of the family to live in Sturston Hall.

The Cust family bought the Hall in March 1994. Over the next 17 years the house was restored, with the discovery of many original 17th Century features such as fireplaces and stone mullioned windows. In 2003 the laundry and barn next to the house was converted into the holiday cottage we have today.