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…

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…

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…

Dunstanburgh Castle – Castle Review

Built: Built between 1313 and finished in 1322 Location: Dunstanburgh Rd, Alnwick NE66 3TT History: Built on the most magnificent scale, Dunstanburgh Castle stands on a remote headland in Northumberland. The castle was built at a time when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had become openly hostile. Lancaster began…