The Shugborough Estate is a combination of landscape, monuments, gardens and architecture, formed by the rich heritage and explorations over time. The fortunes and social positions of two brothers are what initially shaped Shugborough. Since 1624 the estate has been home to the Anson family.
When initially purchased by William Anson, in 1624 the estate was a lot smaller than the scope of the property today. The two brothers of the Anson family were, Thomas and George Anson. Thomas was a founding member of the Society of Dilenttanti in 1732, which was established for the appreciation of classical Greek art. He travelled widely before inheriting the estate from his father in 1720 and started to invest in surrounding properties from 1730s onwards.
Commodore George, soon to be Admiral Lord Anson, returned from his circumnavigation across the globe, which along with other naval triumphs, left him with a vast fortune. He invested in the estate with his brother, expanding the property and making improvements to the estate to begin in earnest.
The property contains historical and culture architecture as well as artefacts, the Georgian mansion unearths unique riches and provides insights into history. Within the mansion are the glamourous apartments of Patrick Lichfield, 5th Earl and Fashion photographer.
George’s son Thomas, in 1807 was created 1st Viscount Anson, his son then the 2nd Viscount would be created 1st Earl of Lichfield. The Earl led an extremely lavish lifestyle which put him into debt, resulting in him having to sell entire contents of the house. The 2nd Earl put himself out to restore the house to its previous glory, re-establishing sold content of the property.
After the death of the 4th Earl in 1960, the estate was passed to the National Trust, in lieu of death duties. Then in 1966 after the deal was finalised, the estate was open to the public. The Estate was quickly leased to Staffordshire County Council, who managed and maintained the property until 2016, when they handed it back to the National Trust to save money.
The estate and its grounds remain open to the public to this current day, marketed as ‘The Complete Working Historic Estate’. Within the visiting experience, people are able to view the working model farm museum, which dates back to 1805. There is also the estates brewery, which was restored in 1990 and is known for being the only log-fired brewery still commercially producing beer in England.