Refurbising the lodges and gates

The Tower of the Winds

Shugborough has five lodges around the boundary of the estate which sit on existing or former routes into and out of the parkland, and are often the first thing that visitors to the estate will see.

One of the first pieces of work we started was to refurbish the lodges in order to improve them internally, enhance their environmental performance and improve their overall condition.

Forensic analysis of historic paint layers on the Stafford gates
Forensic analysis of paint layers
Forensic analysis of historic paint layers on the Stafford gates

So that we can get the correct historic colour match for the joinery and the gates we’ve been carrying out forensic paint analysis; by examining paint samples under a microscope we can peel back the different layers, a bit like an onion, and see what the original colours would have been. As a result we’ve be redecorated the lodges and gates in their original colours, ensuring they look smart, restrained and classical, as always intended.

Lichfield Lodges

The two Lichfield Lodges were built around 1810 to a design by Samuel Wyatt. In 1845 they were moved from their original location to allow the Trent Valley railway to run through the estate via a tunnel underneath the estate.

Shugborough's Lichfield Lodge
Shugborough's Lichfield Lodge
Shugborough's Lichfield Lodge

Once we completed the refurbishment work inside, we redecorated the outside of the Lichfield Lodges as they historically would have been. Forensic paint analysis has shown that doors and window frames would originally have been painted greyish-white, so we’ve returned them to their original colour scheme.

The other significant change will be the redecoration of the main gates, as paint analysis has revealed that they would originally have been painted a grey-black colour rather than green, and would not have had any gilded detailing. The current colour and gilding is believed to be a twentieth century addition, so the gates will be returned to their original colour scheme.

Stafford Lodges

The two Stafford Lodges were built later, in 1825, but to the same 1810 design as the Lichfield Lodges. They feature the Anson crest, along with the motto nil desperandum – do not despair.

Like the Lichfield Lodges, we’ve refurbished the inside of the Stafford Lodges and restored the exteriors to their original design and decoration. Paint analysis has shown that the Stafford Lodges would have been painted in the same way as the Lichfield Lodges, with greyish-white doors and window frames, so these colours have been restored.

Just like the gates at the Lichfield Lodge, the Stafford Lodge gates on the main drive would have been painted in a grey-black colour without gilding, so will be redecorated to their original design.

Essex Lodge

Also known as the Trent Lodge due to its proximity to the River Trent, this lodge was built in 1859 to provide an access route to the church at Colwich which the Anson family built in 1849. As it was designed much later than the other lodges it was built to a different design with its terracotta roof has the look of an Italian villa.

The Essex Lodge at Shugborough
Essex Lodge
The Essex Lodge at Shugborough

Paint analysis has revealed that, unlike the other Lodges, door and window frames at the Essex Lodge would have been painted dark brown, though more recently were painted white. Similarly the gates next to the Lodge have gone through several colour changes since the nineteenth century.

Just like the other Lodges, Essex Lodge has been repainted to restore its originally decorative design, and the gates will be painted grey-black.