The Nostell Estate and its beautiful parklands have been in Lord St Oswald’s family since the 17th century. Being a custodian of such a national treasure is a responsibility His Lordship enjoys, and intends to enhance while under his guardianship. We met with him to learn more about what The Nostell Estate means to him and his ideas for the future.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to the Nostell Estate?
I inherited The Nostell Estate in 1984 following the death of my uncle (the 4th Baron St Oswald). My ancestors bought the estate in the 17th century and lived in the old priory for about 80 years before the present house was built. St Oswald was name of the original patron saint for the 12th century Augustinian monastery established at Nostell. Parts of the original priory can still be seen in the Refectory offices, which as the name suggests, used to be the priory dining hall.
How has the estate changed under your direction?
When I first inherited the estate, both the Estate Yard and Rear Walled Gardens were dilapidated and had all fallen into total dereliction. Many buildings are Grade I listed, and the estate was under a lot of pressure from heritage bodies to protect them for future generations. In 1999 I took the bull by the horns and started renovating the spaces into prestigious offices. Each of the buildings are unique, with their own history. Today’s modern offices have been carefully designed to meet the highest environmental standards, and have won several design awards on completion. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved here.
What is your relationship with the tenants here at Nostell?
Many of the business owners here at Nostell have been tenants since the park first opened in 2004. I enjoy seeing them, and often walk around to catch up with everyone and learn about their businesses.
Currently, like most businesses in the UK, the Nostell tenants are facing tough challenges as they navigate COVID-19. During these difficult times myself and the team have been in regular communication with all tenants, checking on their wellbeing and offering support. The overwhelming response from tenants has been positive, with everyone now keen to getting back to working normally from their offices at Nostell.
Can you share the plans you have for The Nostell Estate’s future?
There are exciting plans ahead for Nostell. For many years, we have wanted a place for tenants to meet, socialise and network. We want to foster a strong sense of community. COVID-19 has delayed progress but the estate now has plans to launch a new development later this summer which should really bring everyone together, not just existing tenants but also the wider business community.
Longer term, we will continue to rejuvenate the commercial properties available at Nostell, maintaining our focus on how to be more sustainable and environmentally responsible.