In November we took a trip to Shugborough Estate, which is situated only a few miles from Stafford. It is a large piece of land with a lot to see and a day can easily be spent around the grounds. We started in the Park Farm cafe to have some lunch. The cafe was busy, but thankfully we were able to find a table, as the alternative was to eat outside in the cold. We both had a jacket potato with butter, cheese, coleslaw and salad. It was very tasty, just like it was at Kedleston hall, so the National Trust have scrumptious jacket potatoes in the bag!
We headed to the mansion after lunch, which was a bit of a walk. It was home to the Anson family since 1624 and in the 18th century it was owned by two brothers George and Thomas who brought treasures to the estate. The mansion had a few rooms that needed more in them, but the mansion was still an interesting piece of history to explore.
The grounds were not well signposted, so we walked in the wrong direction several times. At the beginning we were handed a basic map of the estate, but it was of very little help and at certain points when we were lost we could see other people who were walking around looking lost and confused too, while staring at the simple map and lack of signage.
We had a timed ticket at 3pm for the Lichfield apartment, which was lived in by Patrick Lichfield, the 5th Earl and famous fashion photographer in the 20th century. It was interesting to see an apartment frozen in time from around the 1970’s. There were a lot of older people wandering round and saying things like “oh do you remember them?” and “oh yes I used to have one of those”. A very nostalgic place for the older generation. There seemed to be nothing special about the Earl’s photography though, I think him being an Earl and being well connected meant he had the means and the money to be what he wanted rather than him being exceptionally talented at taking photos.
Shugborough definitely has the potential to be a great National Trust attraction and it has only just been brought back under National Trust’s control this year, therefore maybe they will improve on the minor faults. All it needs is better signage and a little more interaction in the mansion.