Impressive formal terraces with lavender and roses leading down to the River Sow.
The Orangery Garden is a new installation on the site of the original Orangery which was demolished in 1850s. It was ‘inspired by the exotic plants once housed within it’.
Explore the arboretum and discover the Chinese House, a Doric Temple, Temple of the Winds and a Shepherd’s Monument.
Don’t miss the Walled Kitchen Garden and its collection of fruit, vegetables and cutting flowers. The walls of the second half of the garden are currently being restored.
If you have time walk up to the Triumphal Arch. Designed by James ‘Athenian’ Stewart in 1761, it was adapted two years later as a memorial to Admiral Anson and his wife.
Look out for the Longhorn Cattle grazing on the estate.
National Trust members visit for free.
The estate was owned by the Bishops of Lichfield until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It then passed through several hands until it was bought by William Anson in 1624.
In 1694, the manor house was demolished and a new house was built which forms part of the current house.
The house was further extended in the 18th century for Thomas Anson and his younger brother George, a Royal Navy Officer. In 1762, Thomas inherited George’s vast fortune of Spanish treasure which allowed him to make further changes at Shugborough. Anson filled the estate with temples, follies and monuments – Shugborough became one of the finest landscapes in England.
The Ruin beside the River Sow was designed by Thomas Wright c1750 using bricks from the bishop’s house.
The Chinese House was completed in 1747 and decorated with chinoiserie.
The Shepherds’s Monument was built between 1748 and 1756 and contains the letter OUOSVAVV between the letters D and M. The inscription has never been satisfactorily explained.
The walled kitchen garden was built 1805-6 by Samuel Wyatt to replace the earlier walled garden. In 1817, William Pitt described how it was run as : ‘a kind of Academy for the study of Horticulture, in which young men enter themselves to assist without pay for the purpose of improving themselves, and gaining knowledge in the art’.
Many of the buildings including the Pagoda, Palladian Bridge and Cascade were swept away during the great flood of 1795.
Thomas William Anson was created Earl of Lichfield in 1813 but with crippling debts, he was forced to sell the entire contents of the house.
Shugborough remained in the family until the death of 4th Earl of Lichfield in 1960 when the estate was left to the National Trust.