Opening up the views

Worker in high-vis chopping down a cedar tree by the Chinese House

When the Anson family returned from Church in Colwich, they would have entered their estate through Essex Gate and marvelled at the view of the Doric Temple before arriving at the foot of the Mansion

Prior to this year, this view was blocked by a series of large Rhododendrons. In our efforts to restore the Estate to how it would have looked to the Anson family, we made the decision to remove these Rhododendrons and expose to the original beds from the early mid-19th century.


These plants have not just been removed so we can enjoy the view. We inherited Rhododendron ponticum, which is a brutal plant that may carry Phytophthora ramorum, a disease that kills Oak and other species of trees and plants. 

You can still enjoy these beautiful rhododendron hybrids on your walk
Rhododendrons by the clock tower at Shugborough
You can still enjoy these beautiful rhododendron hybrids on your walk


We hope to reinstate hybrid Rhododendrons into the space. We’re beginning to propagate our own Shugborough-grown Rhododendrons from existing hybrid plants that remain around the gardens.  However, this takes a long time and a lot of money, so this project is unlikely to be completed for several years.

As well as this, over the winter we will be lowering the hedges and planting new boarders around the Doric Temple and Shephards Monument. We will also be removing a fallen tree in front of the Chinese House, meaning that you can have a clear view of all of our special monuments when you stroll around the grounds.

This work will recreate how to temple looked in the 1930s
A picture of the doric temple from 1930
This work will recreate how to temple looked in the 1930s

You may notice some of our team out and about in the gardens. Don’t hesitate to stop them to ask questions about the work. Enjoying our gardens all year round supports us so we can complete these important conservation projects.