ONE of Britain’s oldest family-owned stately homes has revealed a new attraction – a £250,000 adventure playground which is inspired by its history.

Stonor Park, in the Chilterns between Wallingford and Henley, has unveiled the fun project which it hopes to have open by Easter weekend for families to enjoy – restrictions allowing.

Inspired by an ancient stone circle in the grounds, the estate has spent £250,000 on Tumblestone Hollow – an innovative adventure playground.

It has also published a children’s book called The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow, which is based around magical characters that live in and around the playground.

The adventure playground, part-funded by the Government's Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, has been designed for four to 12-year-olds.

William Stonor said: “The planning of Tumblestone Hollow has been nearly 18 months in the making. However, with the onset of coronavirus, lockdowns, and the effect this has had on children, it became evident to us that outdoor spaces like this are needed more than ever.

“We decided to focus on providing families and children with something truly magical and exceptional, somewhere they would feel free to explore, discover nature and enjoy safe, outdoor play.

“When so many children and adults have had little or no access to big, open spaces or recreation, our hope is that these wonderful new areas at Stonor will give families the perfect chance to get out and about together”.

Large boulders within the playground recreate Stonor’s original ancient stone circle, from which the house takes its name, giving the sense that the play area has always nestled in these woods.

High level walkways, climbing nets, look-out decks and bridges, all connected by a central tower. Inside, a spiral of steps takes young adventurers from ground level to the top look-out deck, where they will have views across the whole playground and access to the connecting bridges and towers.

Parents and grandparents can rest up and watch on from the giant wooden benches surrounding the playground. Parents can even enjoy a coffee or wood-fired pizza and other refreshment from The Hollow Hut, a new and rustic Shepherd’s hut.

The book, The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow, introduces whimsical characters who live and play in and around the playground.

Aimed at two to eight-year-olds, it has been written by well-known children’s author Amy Sparkes, and is a 20-page rhyming story.

The story is accompanied by magical illustrations by Steve Pearce.