Shugborough Estate National Trust

A week ago I visited Shugborough Estate as part of the National Trust. It was a first for me, as I’ve never been to Shugborough, the weather was typically English with rainy spells and glorious sunshine!

Shugborough has been shaped by the changing tastes, interests and fortunes of its creators and those who have lived there. Based in the heart of England, in Staffordshire, the estate is surrounded by the English countryside.

The Anson brothers is where the story of Shugborough begins, their grandfather bought the estate and mansion house in the 1600’s. Thomas Anson acquired additional land at Shugborough in 1740, with the idea of building a perfect paradise and his landscaping creation was ground breaking as it included some of the first neo Greek structures in the country.

In 1803-06 an extensive renovation and remodelling programme took place within Shugborough’s parklands and subsidiary buildings. The park farm which you enter into for the cafe during a visit to the estate, was once the hub of the farm, with modern machinery combined with sound management for long term sustainability!

With its Greek, Gothic, Roman and Chinese buildings, Shugborough was indeed a visual parallel to the actual circumnavigation of the globe undertaken by Admiral Anson.

David Watson, 2004

The Tower of the Winds. It was built by James Stuart in 1765, the octagonal tower was a copy of an Athenian building called the ‘Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes.’ During my visit to Shugborough, you couldn’t quite see the amazing structure within the grounds as it is undergoing maintenance!

As you can see from the picture within the guide book, it is a magnificent building, I’m looking forward to see the work that the National Trust are undertaking!

The walled garden at Shugborough was completed in 1806, to finish the amazing work it required an army of 20 gardeners who worked six days a week. The walled garden has a revolutionary design with technological innovations but combined with the red brick walls seen at many other manor houses! However the red bricks used were hollow to allow for hot hair to be sent around the garden to create a micro climate. Glasshouses and greenhouses were also built to allow the Anson family and their guests to enjoy delicious fruits no matter the season!

In 1818, the estate and title of Shugborough were passed to the eldest son Thomas, aged 23 at the time. He then also became the 1st Earl of Lichfield, which meant royals and lords were visiting the estate a lot. Even Princess Victoria was a guest in 1832 for a three day visit and during that time over 450 gallons of beer were consumed!

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Through years of war and five Earls of Lichfield’s later, the estate of Shugborough was handed over to the National Trust in 1966. Shugborough is now also a grade 1 listed registered park in Staffordshire, making it one of the most important sites in the country.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Shugborough, even though I was only able to see the gardens and parklands. While I was there I bought the guide book which has now given me more insight into the estate and when I return I’ll be sure to visit the house and see the amazing rooms, kitchens and bedrooms within the mansion!

8 thoughts on “Shugborough Estate National Trust

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  1. Hi Rachel. Shugborough sounds like a fantastic place to visit. OH and I are NT members but haven’t been to this estate yet – I’ll add it to the list! Do you know whether it is dog-friendly?

    And 450 gallons of beer! That Queen Victoria could hold her drink, couldn’t she? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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