Beehive Cottage was originally called Park Lodge and then Stareton Lodge . It was built in 1818 as one of the gate houses to Stoneleigh Abbey Deer Park. It originally had tree trunk columns, thatched roof and rod work front door (Lithograph c.1825). It is constructed of brick that used to be lime washed and represents a more ornimental style than other buildings on the Stoneleigh estate such as Tantara Lodge which was built at the same time. This was a time of extensive development for the Deer Park by James Henry Leigh and his wife Julia after he inherited the estate in 1813. Detailed account books recording the development of buildings and landscape work at Stoneleigh were written by George Jones who lived in Stareton.
The coloured lithograph below of Stareton Gate is by John Brandard (1812-1863) from the time around the visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to Stoneleigh Abbey and the estate on 14th-16th June 1858. John Brandard was a prolific Victorian Lithographer, engraver & illustartor who is in collections throughout the world including the V&A & the National Portrait Gallery.
Stoneleigh Abbey Gate House - Ink on paper by John Brandard
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum Ref.M3750.1993.29
Beehive Cottage today with wooden shingle roofing (2010).