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…

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…

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…

Calke Abbey

Built: 1701 (construction started) Location: Derby DE73 7JF History: The site was an Augustinian priory from the 12th century until its dissolution by Henry VIII. The present building, named Calke Abbey in 1808, was never actually an abbey but is a Baroque mansion built between 1701 and 1704. The house was owned by the Harpur family for nearly 300 years until it was passed to the Trust in 1985…

Kedleston Hall

Built: 1759 (construction started) Location: Derby DE22 5JH History: Kedleston Hall is an English country house in Kedleston and is the seat of the Curzon family. Today it is a National Trust property. The Curzon family have been in Kedleston since at least 1297, and have lived in a succession of manor houses near to or on the site of the present Kedleston Hall. The present house was…

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Built: 1463 Location: Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HH History: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage was originally a farmhouse. It was built in 1463 of cruck construction when the building would have comprised of just three rooms. The kitchen and parlor still remain from the original medieval construction. The first Hathaway to live in the cottage was Anne’s grandfather John Hathaway, who was a…

Chatsworth House

Built: 1553-1560s Location: Bakewell DE45 1PP History: Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales 3.5 miles northeast of Bakewell and 9 miles west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Review: So this trip came about thanks to the bank holiday…