Thomas Anson

Image of Thomas Anson

Whilst George Anson pursued his naval and political career, his elder brother Thomas was occupied in developing Shugborough Estate

Originally trained in the law, Thomas abandoned the profession upon his father’s death and decided to travel on the Grand Tour, visiting far off places such as Rome, Naples, Alexandria and Cyprus. Thomas was a man of intellectual refinement and taste, so in 1732 became a founding member of the influential Society of Dilettanti.

At Shugborough, he set about expanding the property by gradually purchasing the remaining Church and household and some slopes of the Cannock Chase. The old village of Shugborough would have surrounded the Tower of the Winds.

The Tower of the Winds
Tower of the Winds, Shugborough, Staffordshire
The Tower of the Winds

From the late 1740s, enabled by newly attained wealth from his brother's naval escapades, Thomas Anson set about renovating the estate. He commissioned new buildings, created an ornamental lake, bridges and cascade and undertook planting that re-fashioned Shugborough into one of the most outstanding Rococo landscapes in Britain, elements of which still survive today.