Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Moot Hall Restoration

The restoration of the Moot Hall is now complete.

Here are some pictures.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Antique four poster bed

We have just acquired another Four Poster Bed for Soulton.

This antique bed was bought at auction at Bonhams on Thursday.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Moot Hall Restoration

The Moot Hall, in Soulton Court, is currently undergoing restoration. 

This fantastic room has been unused for 60 years.  Originally, it was used for the administrative functions of the manor (the manorial court sat there, and indeed it shown as offices in a plan from 1799). 

It is going to make a wonderful space for events and meetings -- an add significantly to what Soulton Court provides already .

Friday, 24 August 2012

Greening Update: Heating

In order to advice our thinking on green heating of Soulton, we have commissioned an extensive audit of the heating demands of our buildings.

We are pleased to be able to share this report with anyone who takes a keen interest in greening.  You can find the report here.

We are giving very strong consideration to ground source heating to replace our current reliance on oil.  Additionally, we are looking at ways of increasing the efficiency of our buildings' use of/ability to retain heat.  Naturally, we are somewhat restricted in this as a listed building -- but we have agreed one or two ways we can improve this, and there has been much effort in previous years on this.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Holiday Season 2012

Details about Christmas Celebrations 2012 are now available. You can find them here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Fire Safety Measures and Training

Whole team training in the safe use of fire extinguishers, took place today. 

This is undetaken every year by profesional contractors and builds on the routine drills and inductions etc that we undertake. 

The whole Soulton Hall site runs on a linked fire detection system, while in the cottages the alarms also linked, for maximum safety of occupants. 

All health and safety policies, for those that are intersted can be found here.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Some notes on Soulton Heraldry

This is the coat of arms above the Soulton Hall front door.  

It is the marital coat of arms of Thomas Hill and his wife Sarah. 

The blazen of the quaterings are as flows:

A: Hill of Court of Hill ermine, on a fesse sable a triple towered castle argent

B:  Hill of Longslow: Sable, a lion rampent argent, langued and armed, crowned or between three croffed fromee fitchee of the second;

C: Evans of Watstay, Co Denbigh Argent, a fesse between three fleur-de-lys, sable;

D: Eyton of Rhiwabon C Denbigh ermine, a lion rampant crowned or, langued and armed;

E: Bird of Charleton, per pale or and argent, an eale displayed, beaked and armed;

F:  Hill of Buntinsdale;  gules, a chevron between three pheons argent, pionts downwards;

G: Lloyd, (Bishop of St Asaph, 1680) argent, a chevron between three crows sable, each holding in its beak an ermine spot;

H: Grifith, Lord of Bromfield Play of eight argent and gules, a lion rampant sable;

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Flagstaf re-instated at Soutlon Hall

Following the enthusiasm for the jubilee, we have re-instated the flagpole here. 

There was a flag pole here during WWII certainly, and the fixings on the parapet are substantially older than that.  Indeed, it is (we think), reasonable to assume that Thomas Hill and Rowland Hill (late 1600s and 1550s/1560s respectively) would have used heraldic flags during their time.  Rowland Hill was Lord Mayor of London and to this day this office uses heraldic flags; Thomas Hill was High Sheriff and as such conducted significant parts of county administration from Soulton, not least (by Royal command) the recovery effort following the Great Fire of Wem.

This picture below shows the hall displaying our county colours (the Shropshire flag). 

Below is Soulton's own banner of arms.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Work in our Woodland: Cricket Bat Harvest

Yesterday saw the end of a few day's of work in our 50 acre woodland: harvesting 30% of a crop of willows, grown here for cricket bats.  Later in the year their replaments will be planted. 

These trees are grown on a 15 year rotation, so these in turn will be harvested some time around 2030. 

Ultimately, this wood will become Gray and Nichols bats.

Each time significant work is done in this area of Soulton Wood, we open up better access to what is a sublime habitat of ancient woodland, leading down to Soulton Brook and the River Roden.  These rivers are home to water voles, otters, brown trout and mayfly. 

Below is a picture of this wonderful peacful location:

And below is a picture of one of the replacment stands from work done two years ago:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Getting into the spirit of the Jubilee!

Bunting has gone up in the gardens here to celebrate the Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Outstanding Bluebells in Soulton Wood: Stop motion tour

Once again, we are enjoying a fantastic flush of spring colour around the farm and in the gardens.  

Below is a quick stop motion of the bluebells in Soulton Wood for 2012.   

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Footpaths & Permissive Access to our Farm

Our farm has two public rights of way over its ground, the total distance these represent is close on 2 miles.  In addition, our farm has a Permissive Bridleway, which is 1.81 miles long.  So in total we have over 3 miles of public access to this farm. 

Our guests enjoy somewhat more extensive access to our farm while with us. 

Many people in our community use these paths, and we have found that the Permissive Path in particular (for which we provide off road parking in our yard) has grown very popular, especially with dog walkers, as it takes advantage of a stone track and is comfortable walking, even in wet conditions. 

We are pleased to share the farm in this way, and our especially proud of the negligibly way these arrangements work. We aim to be thoughtful and welcoming farmers, and find that the community that use our footpaths are respectful of our work and are actively helpful in bringing things to our attention. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Soulton returns to BBC1. A second "Escape to the country".

Soulton Hall returned to BBC1 for some location filming in BBC1's "Escape to the Country", this time hosted by Jules Hudson.

Here are some screen caps from the program:

Within the UK, for one week from today, you can see the program via the iPlayer here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Online Booking and Availability, coming soon

Last year we invested in a computerized booking system (having relied on a paper diary for 38 years), on the basis that it would enable us to implement online booking for the greater convenience of out guests.  

Transferring booking systems was a daunting prospect, and we were anxious to avoid having too many new things all happening at once.  We thought it best to walk before we tried to run. We are now very comfortable wit this system. 

Work is now well under way to deliver this enhanced service, which will be available soon.  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Renewables and Greening Update

We have now published all Energy Performance Certificates for our Cottages.  You can find these at the following locations:

Shooter's Lodge

There is no legal mandate to have these reports for self catering rentals, but we think it is a good way of focusing our thinking in this area.  

This, along with the renewables review for Soulton Hall itself completed by 7Y energy last spring, means that all of the areas of Soulton Hall (sadly not publishable online: propitiatory to 7Y) have been reported on.

Our solar PV array has already generated 9,000kWh.  This equivalent to 8 tonnes of carbon, and already the output in a few short months has been enough for 3 average households for a year.  

Active consideration is going into ground source heating for Soulton Hall. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

KING CNUT: Soulton's Historic Connection to the Famous Viking

We've found a (grizzly) connection to the famous King Cnut (995 –1035AD), looking again at the histry of the manor. 

Beorhtric, the saxon held Solton Manor before 1066.  This is in the Domesday Book, 1086AD. 

He was, it turns out, the brother of Edric Streon. Edric Streton was the Earl of Mercia, and a reviled Anglo Saxon traitor, and he was key in bringing King Cnut to the throne. However, he had such a reputation for backsliding, Cnut had him slain on Christmas Day 1017. 

Unfortunately for Beorthric, owner of Soulton, he was with is brother at the time...

Below is Soulton's entry in the Domesday Book:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Oxford University: Soulton is set to collaborate on green energy research

Oxford University and Soulton are set to co-operate in research into 'efficient, low carbon energy systems'. 

We are working to share our solar green energy production data with Oxfords's Energy and Power Group:

Monday, 27 February 2012

Soulton: cover Feature in 'Running in Heels' magazine.

A review of Soulton Hall by Victoria Todd is Cover Feature in 'Running in Heels', a Europe-wide women's culture, fashion, the arts magazine. 

Full article here:

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

BBC ONE: Alistair Appleton 'escapes to the country' at Soulton.

We're in an 'Escape to the Country' episode screened earlier today on BBC One, and afterwards on the iPlayer here. 

The iPlayer link will work for one week, and is not available outside the UK.

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An historic country house. Hotel and farm and woodland, with dining, cottages, weddings, meetings, events