Join us as we tell the tale of two brothers. One brother on a quest for money, influence and adventure and the other on a quest for paradise, culture and quality.
The Story begins
The story of Shugborough really begins 300 years ago in 1693 when William’s grandson, also called William, demolished the manor house and built a two-storied house, which forms the centre of the house today. The transformation of that medium sized country house into a magnificent Georgian Mansion was carried out between 1745 and 1748 by the architect Thomas Wright, who added the pavilions either side of the 17th century block.
It was the two great grandsons of the first William Anson who were responsible for these important changes. Thomas, born in 1695, inherited the house, and it is his passion for the classical arts, influenced by his grand tour of Europe, that we see reflected in the house today, particularly in the rococo plasterwork of the dining room and library. But it was his daring and adventurous brother George, born in 1697, who provided the funding for these alterations.
Exploring the house
Visitors can explore the ground floor rooms at their own pace, discovering the story of the two brothers. Admiral Anson and his circumnavigation of the globe aboard his ship the centurion and his capture of a Spanish treasure galleon, which ultimately funded much of the Shugborough Estate.
Visit the Room of Imaginary Landscapes and learn more about Thomas Anson’s architectural plans for ‘Arcadia’ and ‘A Perfect Paradise’ throughout the house and grounds, and how he achieved this through the Dall paintings displayed in the room. Nicholas Dall was invited at the time to paint views of the house and its grounds, which show Thomas Anson’s passion for Greek revival through the eight monuments in the parkland that he commissioned his friend James Stuart to build.