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Summerfield celebrate 200 years as a family business

Summerfield celebrate 200 years as a family business

SUMMERFIELD, the Taunton based property development company and Tauntfield, the founding family business, previously Stansell Builders, has marked a special anniversary with events for partners, suppliers and employees in a year when it is joined by the eighth generation of its founding family.

Summerfield grew out of a business started 200 years ago by William Stansell who moved to Taunton from London offering his services as a painter, plumber and glazier – 14 years before Queen Victoria began her reign.

In the years since, the company has left its mark across Somerset and the South West, working on many famous buildings and more recently creating new communities and business parks in key locations.

William’s son Alfred inherited his father’s skill as a heraldic painter and gilder with one of the gold vanes on the tower of St Mary’s Minster, Taunton still bearing his name. Running the business from his home in Billet Street, Alfred’s son William lived above its showroom and offices. He took an interest in lighting and Taunton was the first town in England to benefit from electric street lighting.

Charles Stansell took over the company around the time of his father William’s death and concentrated more on building and joinery. After World War II, Stansell worked with the local authority on some the area’s first council houses. Known as ‘young governor’, William (Bill) Stansell moved the growing business into its current offices at Tauntfield and as chairman oversaw its restructure. In 1987 Summerfield Developments was founded. His daughters Elizabeth and Julia joined the holding company Board with Julia’s son James Holyday starting at Stansell in 1992 and grandson, Chris, joining Summerfield in 2023 as the eighth generation.

Stansell Builders and the name was sold in 1996, but the business based at Tauntfield that has been developing property throughout the South West for generations, is operating with two distinct divisions of the Summerfield Developments limited company; building residential property with Summerfield Homes, and building and managing workplaces with Summerfield Commercial across the region. Residential projects have included Killams Park, Taunton; Blackdown Meadows, Wellington and Liddymore Park, Watchet. Commercial schemes include Blackbrook, Taunton; Vantage Point, Exeter and Westpark 26, Wellington.

James Holyday, Managing Director at Summerfield said: “I am delighted to be able to share this remarkable and special milestone in our company’s history with over 170 people who work with us and support us now, as we remember with gratitude and pride all the amazing hard work of previous generations of the family”.

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