Shugborough Estate

Built: 1695 (completed) Location: Great Haywood, Stafford ST17 0XB History: Shugborough was one of the manors of the bishops of Lichfield in the Middle Ages. The site was purchased in 1624 by William Anson, a lawyer. The current house dates back to 1694. It was once the home of photographer Lord Lichfield, the 5th Earl of Lichfield, who was a…

Weston Park

Built: 1671 Location: Weston-under-Lizard, Shifnal TF11 8LE History: Weston Park is a country house in Weston-under-Lizard, Staffordshire, England, set in more than 1,000 acres (400 ha) of park landscaped by Capability Brown. The park is located 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Wolverhampton, and 8 miles (13 km) north-east of Telford, close to the border with Shropshire. The 17th-century Hall is a Grade I listed building and several…

Little Moreton Hall

Built: c. 1504 – c. 1610 Location: Congleton CW12 4SD History: Built to make a big impression, Little Moreton Hall was constructed during the Tudor period, with the earliest part of the house begun in around 1504 to 1508 and the latest addition being completed in 1610. The Moreton family were wealthy landowners in the area and…

Moseley Old Hall

Built: 1600 (original date unknown) Location: Wolverhampton WV10 7HY History: Moseley Old Hall is a historic Elizabethan timber-framed house that provided a hiding place for Charles II during his escape following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. When Charles was fleeing from Parliamentary troops after the Battle, he sought refuge at Moseley Hall. Visitors can see the bed…

Wightwick Manor

Built: 1887 (extended in 1893) Location: Wolverhampton WV6 8EE History: Theodore Mander, a Wolverhampton paint manufacturer, and his Canadian wife Flora, commissioned Edward Ould to build Wightwick Manor in black and white ‘Old English’ style in 1887 (extended in 1893). They decorated it with Morris & Co. furnishings, Kempe stained glass and De Morgan tiles, but had more…

Attingham Park

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…

Kenilworth Castle – Castle Review

Built:  1120s Location: Castle Green, Kenilworth CV8 1NG History: Kenilworth is one of England’s most magnificent castles. First built in the 1120s and a royal castle for most of its history, it was expanded by King John, John of Gaunt and Henry V. In 1563 Elizabeth I granted it to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who converted Kenilworth…

Stafford Castle – Castle Review

Built:  1347 Location: Stafford ST16 1DJ History: First built as a hugh timber fortrest in 1100 AD by Robert de Toeni, (later known as Robert of Stafford) under the orders of William the Conqueror in the Norman period, Stafford Castle has dominated the local skyline for over 900 years. It saw action during the Civil War, when it withstood…

Hardwick Hall

Built: Between 1590-1599 Location: S44 5QJ History: Hardwick Hall was built in 1590-9 for Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, also known as ‘Bess of Hardwick’. Built by Robert Smythson, Hardwick is one of the earliest English interpretations of Italian Renaissance architecture, and stands as one of the greatest of all Elizabethan houses. Huge grids of glass are used…

Bolsover Castle – Castle Review

Built: 1613 Location: Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6PR History: The castle was founded in the late 11th century by William Peverel, one of William the Conqueror’s knights, but it was neglected from the mid-14th century. Its ruins provided the setting for the Little Castle begun in 1612 by Sir Charles Cavendish as a retreat from his principal seat…

Warwick Castle – Castle Review

Built: 1068 Location: Warwick CV34 4QU History: Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a bend of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century. Review: So I’ve…

Sudbury Hall

Built: Between 1660 and 1680 Location: Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HH History: The History of the Sudbury Estate. The manor of Sudbury is listed in Domesday book (1086).  Sudbury became the property of the Vernon family in the early 16th century through the marriage of the heiress, Ellen Montgomery, to Sir John Vernon (d. 1545) a younger son of Sir Henry Vernon of Haddon Hall in north…