Continuing the designed landscape
After the death of his brother Admiral George Anson in 1762 Thomas began a second wave of transformation. This period saw the monumental additions to the park and drew upon his love of the ancient classic world.
Looking out into the wider parkland we 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, it would be hard to miss this imposing 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. In the central arch, Thomas added an ‘aplustre’, a commemorative plaque. It depicts naval trophies and other attributes linked to his brother’s illustrious life.
The Lanthorn of Demosthenes is an accurate copy from a classical ruin which Stewart sketched on his travels. This monument was built between 1764–71. When built it supported a tripod and urn cast by the Stewart’s friend Matthew Boulton at the Soho metal works in Birmingham.
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 accommodation 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.