Shugborough is the 18th century home of royal photographer Lord Patrick Lichfield. The house was built in 1693 with the money coming to the Anson family as the result of treasure from a seized Spanish ship.
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The house was originally a two storey block of red brick, plastered over with lines drawn to make it look like stone. The Ansons added two wings with bow fronts. These wings housed the library, dining room, and what is now a memento room. In 1789 Thomas Anson II had a neo-classical portico with eight columns added to the full front of the central block of the house. He also demolished the village houses and moved the people to another site where he had cottages constructed.
The state dining room and library are decorated with plasterwork, gold leaf, and paintings. The red drawing room has an 18th century chandelier. The state sitting room and bedroom were used by Queen Victoria. In the veranda room is the 208 piece 18th century Chinese porcelain Anson armorial dinner service that commemorated Admiral George Ansonís circumnavigation of the globe.
Thirty six rooms are still used by Lord Lichfield and his family. Much of his photographic collection is on display. Also in the house is a collection of 18th century ceramics, silver, and French furniture. The Earlís private apartments are open by tickets booked from the website.
Visitors can visit the restored kitchens now housing the Staffordshire County Museum, the brewhouse, the servantís quarters, and the working historic farm complete with corn mill and animals. There is also a working dairy and laundry. Workers are dressed in the historic costumes of the times.
The gardens are 19th century Grade I listed and feature an herbaceous border, rhododendrons and azaleas. Formal terraces are set off by lavender and roses.
A walled garden has been restored to its historic appearance. In the grounds are eight monuments/follies surviving from the late 1600s and 83 varieties of oak trees. There is a walk along the river.
Shugborough Estate and House
Milford, near Stafford, Staffordshire
Tel. 0 1889 881 388
Open: mid March-end Oct, daily, 11am-5pm National Trust property maintained by Staffordshire County Council; ice cream parlour; train rides; adventure playground; medieval packhorse bridge; shop; tea-room; parking (charge but refunded on ticket purchase)