Continuing the designed landscape

The Triumphal Arch on the skyline at Shugborough

Thomas Anson inherited his brother George’s fortune when he died in 1762. This extra money funded what is known as the second wave of transformation of Shugborough Estate.

Look out into the wider parkland to see the exceptional structures created by James ‘Athenian’ Stewart. Stewart was one of the leading exponents of Neo-Classicism and in particular the Greek style.

James 'Athenian' Stewart


Stewart came from humble beginnings but had immense talent. He self-funded his travels to Italy, where he learnt a multitude of languages, such as Greek, Italian, Latin and studied Italian and Roman art and architecture. His travels lead to him releasing the first volume of his and Nicolas Revett's book The Antiquities of Athens in 1762. You can see examples of Stewart’s work with the Triumphal Arch, the Tower of the Winds, and The Lanthorn of Demosthenes.

The Triumphal Arch is most likely to have been the first of the park monuments undertaken by ‘Athenian’ Stuart, and certainly the most prominent. As you drive into the estate, you will be hard to miss this towering structure. Work started soon after 1761, and it is based on the Arch of Hadrian in Greece. 

In 1760, Thomas suffered a huge loss with the death of his close friend and sister-in-law, Elizabeth York, and again in 1762 with the death of his brother. Thomas memorialised them by adding their busts in the outer arches. If you look in the centre, Thomas also put a naval trophy with other attributes out of Carrara marble. This is called an ‘aplustre’, which commemorates George’s success.

If you look closely, you can see the bust of Elizabeth Anson on the arch
A close up of the bust of Elizabeth Anson on the Arch
If you look closely, you can see the bust of Elizabeth Anson on the arch


Another monument along the entrance drive is the Lanthorn of Demosthenes. Stewart built this between 1764-71. Venture out to the monument and see the incredible optical illusion. It appears as if the Lanthorn is leaning, but it is in fact completely level.

The Lanthorn of Demosthenes
The Lanthorn of Demosthenes
The Lanthorn of Demosthenes


The Tower of the Winds was completed about 1765. Once you leave Park Farm and journey to the mansion, you will see this towering two story building. Originally, this tower sat in the what was the village pond, surrounded by water, in the middle of village that was once at Shugborough. The village houses were slowly bought up as tenancies came to an end or inhabitants died. Some were moved to purpose built architect designed accomodation in Great Haywood.


In 1805, the lower two storeys were converted into a dairy for Lady Anson by Samuel Wyatt in 1805. The octagonal tower was built to mirror the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes’, named for the carved figures that were once on the top that represented the eight wind deities.
 

The Tower of the Winds
Tower of the Winds, Shugborough, Staffordshire
The Tower of the Winds