The history of Attingham

Tern Hall, home of the Hill family, was incorporated into the 'new' mansion built in the 1780s

From ancient landscapes to mansion restoration, the estate at Attingham has witnessed a lot of change.

4000 years in the making

Attingham's Estate is centred around the confluence of the Rivers Tern and Severn, with mostly flat, light alluvial soils and lots of sand and gravel. Our ancestors found this to their liking and we have lots of evidence of human activity from an early age: Iron Age field systems, Bronze Age barrows, the Roman city of Viroconium and Saxon palaces.

The Hill family

The Hill family, later to become the Lords Berwick, bought the original piece of land here in 1700 - which came indirectly from land taken from Haughmond Abbey during the Dissolution. Over the next century they added to it until there were over 8,000 acres, extending right up into Shrewsbury.

The family made their money through politics, the acquisition of land, money-lending and mining. However, not all of them proved to be so good at managing their great fortune.

The work of the last Lord and Lady Berwick to restore the Mansion meant that half of this was sold off in the first half of the 20th century, leaving nearly 4,000 acres that we still manage today.

Did you know?

  •     Attingham comes from the Saxon: ‘dwelling of the people of St Eata’
  •     Berwick Maviston was the medieval village removed to improve the park
  •     The original house was called Tern Hall, named after the river
  •     1st Lord Berwick moved the London-Holyhead road away from the house
  •     The family motto is apt: ‘Let wealth be his who knows its use’
  •     Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick, once had a working model of Mount Vesuvius
  •     The 8th Lord Berwick was president of the RSPCA for 25 years
  •     During the Second World War an airfield was built to the east of the park
  •     The Orangery was once used as a cinema
  •     Percy Thrower presented BBC gardening shows here in the 1950

Find out more about the history of Attingham 

The 8th Lord and Lady Berwick with Cecil Pinsent (left) standing by entrance gates in winter during the 1920s

Attingham celebrates 70 years of the National Trust in 2017

Attingham celebrated 70 years of the National Trust in 2017.

A flier advertising a music course at the Attingham Education College

Revealing forgotten history at Attingham Park

Discover the fascinating history of Attingham as an innovative Adult Education College with a range of unusual courses.

Soldiers recovering in the hospital at Attingham Park

First World War at Attingham

Discover the close links between Attingham Park and the First World War and see what you could experience on your visit.