The Shugborough Estate, best known as the ancestral home of Patrick, Earl of Lichfield (1939 - 2005), the celebrated British society photographer. Built on the site of a moated medieval bishop's castle, Shugborough was bought by the wealthy Anson family in 1624 for £4,000 (a fortune at the time) but was torn down in 1693 to create a more modest country house. The building was enlarged in 1745 by architect Thomas Wright to create an elegant Georgian mansion.
Thomas Anson (1695 - 1773), who was the great grandson of the original owner, inherited the Shugborough Estate in 1762 from his brother, George who had died heirless. George Anson joined the navy as a 14 year-old boy and rose through the ranks to become the First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1740 he commenced an epic four year voyage circumnavigating the world. On the journey he captured a Spanish treasure ship laden with £400,000, the largest haul ever seized by an English sea captain.
Since we'd last visited Shugborough,we'd visited Athens so were excited to compare the originals with the Georgian reproductions.
Designed by Thomas Wright in 1750 as a folly, The Ruin was once more extensive, was composed from parts of the original manor house and included a Gothic pigeon house.