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Explore the parkland at Shugborough

Visitors walking through the trees in the grounds at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.
Visitors walking in the grounds at Shugborough Estate. | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

Discover 900 acres of Grade I listed parkland at Shugborough which has wildlife and monuments across the estate. This includes Cannock Chase's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Buildings, monuments and follies

As you look around, you may notice that there are some grand monuments dotted around the parkland. 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.

Look out for...

The Essex Bridge over the River Trent at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
The Essex Bridge at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire. | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Essex Bridge

The bridge is just outside the estate and crosses the River Trent at the site of an earlier, 16th century wooden bridge. Built in the 17th century, the current stone bridge, with its parapets and ornate coping, originally had as many as 43 arches but is now much shorter, with just 14 arches.

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The Shepherd's Monument

Built in the late 1750s, the Shepherd’s Monument takes its name from its central marble relief. The outer columns of the monument were added in 1763, although this whole monument was possibly once built into the kitchen garden wall, before the current Walled Garden was built in 1806.

The Doric Temple

Built in around 1760, the Doric Temple was designed by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and based on the Temple of Hephaistos in Athens. This was one of the first accurate Greek reproduction buildings in the country.

Hadrian's Arch

Based on a design in the antiquities of Athens, the construction of this Grade I listed monument, soon took on a new meaning following the death of Thomas Anson’s brother George, who changed the arch to become a memorial to his brother and his brother’s wife Elizabeth Yorke.

He commissioned two busts: one of Elizabeth Yorke that faces towards Colwich where George and Elizabeth are buried, and one of George, facing Shugborough Hall, which he helped to create.

The Tower of the Winds

Based on the Horologium of Andronikos in Athens, the Tower of the Winds was completed in around 1765. It was originally surrounded by water and accessed by two small bridges, but this was lost when the park was badly damaged by the great flood in 1795.

The Tower may look a little uncared for, with peeling and patchy paint. This is due to the wrong cement and paint being used for previous repairs. We have carried out paint analysis on the building to establish the original paint treatment so we can restore it in the future.

The Lanthorn

This was the last monument designed by James Stuart for Shugborough. A copy of a building in Athens dating from 4BC, it was completed in 1771 and originally included a bowl designed by Josiah Wedgwood.

Visitors walking towards the house at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.

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