Slowly slowly catch the monkey…



Looking back through my blogs, they seem to be getting more and more gloomy. I am very aware that nobody wants to hear someone as lucky as me complaining non-stop. Therefore back in April I promised myself that I wouldn’t write another blog until I’d cheered up and had something good to report. I haven’t totally cheered up I’m afraid, but I do have something good to report. My...

A bit bruised and battered



It’s been a difficult couple of months.  In retrospect I think I’ve been a bit naive.  When I took over running St Clere I thought the changes I wanted to make would be universally supported because I believed they would benefit all our neighbours.  I wanted to open St Clere up more, to share it’s extraordinary atmosphere.  I wanted to communicate more about St Clere to ensure people understood...

What would I do to keep the roof on?



It was at the public consultation about the solar panels that it happened. A very nice neighbour plucked up courage to ask me whether the rumour she had heard was true: were we putting a static home site on the land at Chart Stud Farm?  After I had checked three times that I had heard correctly, I reassured her that over my dead body would a static home site...

It’s raining inside….



About five years ago, I went to a Historic Houses Association conference about energy use in historic houses.  The key message from the conference was that weather would become more ‘eventful’.  Wetter rain.  Dryer dry spells etc.  Their point was that we should get prepared, belt and braces, investing in the infrastructure necessary to cope with such events.  On an estate like St Clere ‘getting prepared’ takes a huge...

Love Thy Neighbour



We have alot of neighbours.  We have residents of Kemsing, Heverham, Seal, Wrotham, Ightham, Otford, West Kingsdown, Ash and Stansted neighbouring our land.  When we took over running the estate we wrote a plan for the estate, and one of our three key values is to steward the estate for the benefit of our family, staff and tenants, and for the benefit of our neighbours.  I love living in...

“Build it and they will come…”



In my case, it wasn’t so much a case of having to build it.  I was handed on a plate a stunning 17th Century mansion, with extraordinary gardens surrounded by thousands of acres of farm and woodland.  All building had been done 350+ years ago. It was a case of “Open it and they will come’…’ As I grew up I always felt a bit guilty about so few...

A Better Way to Split



Family Mediation is a Good Thing.  This is not one of my ‘dilemmas’ I talked about last time.  I used to be a family solicitor and I KNOW how much *better *cheaper *faster it is to sit down with your soon-to-be-ex, and work out how to split your assets and share your kids.  If you love your kids more than you hate your partner, it’s a no-brainer.  Go the...

Warmed by wood chip, but in the lap of the Gods/postman



I see St Clere as a bit of an Ark.  A place of safety in a turbulent storm.  Not just for me and mine, although that’s important to me.  Keeping the bit of Kent that we are stewarding safe and beautiful is what it’s all about for me, and I hope it benefits our neighbours too. We’re also aiming for a more literal Ark; we’re trying to move towards...

Eliza Ecclestone, Managing Trustee of St Clere: My first blog



I’m not somebody who naturally gushes.  I have a serious fear of sounding smug.  I am going to tentatively dip my toe into the blogosphere but will stop instantly if it turns out that it makes me smugly gush about my lovely life. I do however have a lovely life.  I live on the most beautiful estate (St Clere) in the most desirable district (Sevenoaks) of the most fabulous...

St Clere Estate, Kemsing, Kent: This exclusive venue is now open for meetings, corporate away days, client entertaining and team building.



Looking for a new venue to impress your clients? Reward your team? Get away from the office, away from the phones and visit St Clere Estate in Kent where you will have the guaranteed peace and quiet to make important business decisions. St Clere is a private, working country estate that strives to provide a friendly, intimate environment where clients will have exclusive use of the facilities and gardens....