The 900 acres of Shugborough Estate’s parkland is Grade I listed due to its historical importance and in recognition of two significant phases of its historic design.
In the 18th century Shugborough was seen as being at the forefront of the Greek Revival, with its monuments and buildings designed by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart influencing parks and gardens throughout the country.
In February 1795, as a result of snow melt and heavy rainfall, the Shugborough Estate, like many places in the area, suffered a vast flood which swept away many features of the estate, including the Chinese Pagoda and Cascade as well as an ornamental lake which formed a moat around the Tower of the Winds.
Following the flood, Thomas Anson II employed Thomas Webb to redevelop the estate, adapting what had been a purely ornamental design to meet the needs of modern farming. This work included the creation of Park Farm, one of the earliest and most impressive model farms of its day, the creation of the Walled Garden which was seen as being at the cutting edge of farming innovation and a new channel for the River Sow to prevent future flooding.
Today, much of the parkland is subject to Higher Level Stewardship agreements, meaning that the land and environment must be looked after to specific environmental standards, in order to protect it. It also now sits within the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Within the estate there are also several other features including:
Britain’s widest Yew
The great Yew is believed to be the widest tree in the country, with the circumference of 175.5 metres when it was last measured. It’s even recorded on the National Tree Register due to its size and importance. Though it’s an impressive tree and the red berries look tempting, we recommend not eating them as they can cause upset tummies.
Built on the site of an eighteenth century bowling green, the formal gardens were designed by William Andrews Nesfield around 1855, though the golden yews were a twentieth century addition.
The Formal Gardens include the Grade II Listed Boy and Swan fountain which was sited in front of the River Sow in 1900 and the Rose Garden, which was designed in the 1960s by Graham Stuart Thomas.