Built: 1785 (completed)
Location: Shrewsbury SY4 4TP
History: Attingham Park was designed by George Steuart, a follower of James Wyatt, whose only surviving country house this is. It was built from 1772 to 1785 for Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick, on the site of an earlier house called Tern Hall (which had been built to his own designs by Richard Hill of Hawkstone).
Review: So I actually work near here and there were so many people from work who suggested that me and Luke go visit this place.
Now if work hadn’t suggested we go here, then we probably wouldn’t (not sure if any of you remember but I work an hour and a half away, so it’s still a bit of a drive – not that I mind too much, but sometimes it’s nice going on an adventure that’s only just around the corner).
Anyway, we made the plan to go on an all day adventure. We left early (leaving enough time for a quick Costa breakfast of course) and made our way over to Attingham Park.
The place was really easy to get to as well, we were coming from Burton way and it was pretty much a straight run (although admittedly it is a road that I know well). But once you get within half an hour of the place, there are plenty of signs to help guide you there anyway.
Having said that, me and Luke still managed to take one turn too soon before the park and I have no idea how we managed that since it was fairly obvious where the entrance was.
We somehow managed to find the exit though, but yeah, in the end we got there. Must have just been tired from the drive or something.
There is ample parking, but we did have to park a bit away from the ticket section though, as it was very, very busy.
I think that this is a very popular place though, so I don’t know when the best time would be to visit this place.
I mean you’ve got the magnificent Georgian stately home and gardens to explore.
Me and Luke first walked around the ground and enjoyed the walled garden. This was a lovely experience to be honest. I mean there is also a substantial deer park, a river walk, and plenty of space for visitors to enjoy walks around the estate.
So even if it’s busy, you can at least go and enjoy the grounds and not be too crowded (I’m not a huge fan of crowds if I’m being honest, much prefer quiet places).
Anyway, we first had a look at the walled garden.
This walled garden was huge and there was so much to explore of it.
If you love exploring the great outdoors, then you can also set off to explore the deer park with its resident herd. There’s a choice of different walks and trails to follow, all offering wonderful views and opportunities to see wildlife.
We didn’t spend a lot of time in the gardens though, so perhaps in the future (when it’s safe to go back), me and Luke will spend a day exploring the grounds further.
Anyway, we decided to head towards the house.
We were both really impressed by this house, it was truly magnificent.
You can clearly see just how impressive this house would have been. However, as we explored the house, you can clearly see that a lot was changed.
There were 8 Lord Berwicks, and Attingham’s heyday started in early 1800s. But we learnt that a lot of changes were started from the 2nd Lord Berwick who overspent.
Finally, the House was revived by the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick in 1920s. It was very impressive to see that if it were not the 8th Lord who bequeathed the house and the estate to the National Trust. We might not have had the opportunity to see this Attingham House.
What was really interesting about this house, was that it was essentially spilt into two wings! One wing is the ‘male’ wing, set aside for Lord Berwick, and the other side is the ‘female’ wing, reserved for his wife. Everything is for show, with little thought for comfort; Attingham was meant to be a stage, not a home.
This was one of my favourite rooms, this was in the “female” side of the house and it was absolutely stunning.
You can’t really tell from the photo, but the walls and doors are curved, and it just had such a calming feel to it.
Just look at all the details that was put into this room!
Me and Luke spent a little while just waiting in this room, until finally we were the only people in it, and I have to tell you, I would have loved to have just sat and read a book or something.
There was just something about this room that I really loved.
Attingham features lush Regency interior rooms, with period furniture, artwork, and collections of silver. The ceilings are worth special note; they exhibit excellent plasterwork detail.
Again, another room in the “female” wing. But just look at the ceiling! Look at the detail. I mean this whole room is stunning.
One day, I’m going to be able to afford a room like this. Might take me till I’m old and grey, but one day.
We were very interested when we came across the ‘Inner library’ which each Lord shared his interest in books. However, most of the books of the 2nd Lord were sold. The 8th Lord Berwick was particularly interested in modern fine printing and first editions.
Not the best photo, but I can promise you, that this room was spectular. It’s a shame that you can’t touch anything (although I understand why not). But I would love to be able to put a pair of gloves on and carefully open up one of these books and read them.
The next room was the Dining Room. This room was so grand and magnificent!
This room was dark – if you can’t tell from the photo.
But it was just amazing.
It was like we had stepped back in time, and I could just imagine Luke and me wearing the correct clothing and being shown our seats.
Would be nice to have a time machine, even just for a day.
Anyway, not all is luxury and ornate decoration; you can also go ‘below stairs’ and see how the servants lived and worked.
I’ve noticed at many of these places, they will have the plates laid out with the names of people who would have sat there, what their job was and how much they would get paid.
I always quite like that, as you can get a little snippet of history.
I think if you wanted to bring your kids to this place, then this would be perfect! There were loads of activities that kids could do downstairs as well.
There is a special room set aside for children’s activities, where the younger generation can dress up in period costumes, learn Victorian parlour games, and experience a bit of what life was like at Attingham years ago.
Obviously though, me and Luke didn’t take part in that.
Even the servants rooms had a bit of luxury about them (not as much as the upstairs part of the house). But you can see, that they didn’t just forget to decorate downstairs.
This is the end of the house though, and you’ll exit through the back door. As a side note, if you are bringing pushchairs, then this is where you can leave them (I think).
You can exit out this way, but don’t worry it’s not the end of your adventure.
You can still find plenty more places to walk to.
But if you want to call it a day, then it’s not too far from the car park.
If you are planning on going to Attingham Park in the future, just be prepared for a lot of walking.
I can’t wait for the day when I can come back here.