England Travel


Last weekend I’ve been to Shugborough with my husband. We’ve had a lovely day out and now is time to share some pictures from there. It was a sunny and warm day, perfect for a day out. There are lots of walks on the estate, but we didn’t have time for long walks. We’ve decided to visit the mansion, the walled garden, the farm, and have a quick lunch at their restaurant.

Shugborough - Walled garden

The visit starts with the walled garden. This walled garden is the second one and it was built in 1806. I imagine it is lovely to see during the summer months.

It is still early in the year and there weren’t as many plants in bloom. But it was lovely to see Molly the mower doing her job. She is very smart, goes to recharge by herself, and after that starts mowing the lawn again. She can be programmed to do patterns and a variety of cuts. She also records, using GPS, which parts of the lawn were mowed and which were not. It was a donation, no worries that the entry fees are spent on fancy pieces of technology and not conservation.

Shugborough - walk towards the farm and mansion

After the walled garden, we went towards the farm and mansion. People were having picnics on the grass or at the tables, while admiring these wonderful swans and a few other birds.

Next on our list was the farm.

Shugborough farm - interior

We saw the quite impressive farm house, much bigger than I was expecting it to be. It was built by Thomas Anson as a model farm.

Shugborough farm - parlor

Shugborough - tower of the winds

The Tower of Winds was closed when we visited, as it was a private event going on. We saw it on our way to the mansion.

Shugborough - outside the main house

Shugborough mill - dairy equipment

At the mill is a fascinating insight into different aspects of farming… like this charming milling stool with two things used for the calves. On top is a calf collar, used to stop calves from suckling. The spikes would hurt the mother and she would move. A more “humane” option (although we can have a long discussion on what is humane and what not) is a muzzle, preventing the calf from suckling. Delightful indeed… but very important aspects to show, especially to children considering that most of them have no idea where their food comes from.

 Shugborough lunch

We stopped for lunch next. I asked for a vegan jacket potato and they changed the coleslaw with an extra helping of salad. It was good. My husband had a vegetarian quiche with sweet potatoes, he liked it.

I wish the staff was a bit more knowledgable about these things, as they had to ask about both dishes in the kitchen. Alternatively, a list of ingredients can be made and place it near the menu for the customers, easy and less hassle for everybody, especially when there is a queue.

Shugborough - interior court, used by servants

We went to see the servants quarters, starting with the dinning hall where the plates on the tables suggested that the scullery maid was sitting next to the Housemaid. Maybe they were doing things a bit different and not taking into consideration the natural hierarchy of the household in a stately home, or maybe the staff from the estate thought they should mix it a bit up.

Shugborough - ice cream maker

This ice cream maker must have been such a great asset for the cook.

Shugborough mansion, part of the wall with wisteria on it

Finally, we went to see the main home.

Shugborough - desk

I loved this desk. It’s just the kind of desks I like and that inspired me in designing my desk.

 Shugborough - library

The libraries in stately homes are the ones I’m most keen to see. I love the rows of books.

Shugborough - ceiling

The library and a few other rooms had this amazing ceiling. It’s not Wedgwood, my husband asked about it one of the guides, but it is made at the same time as the well known Jasper pottery was starting to be crafted at Wedgwood.

Shugborough - room

Shugborough - restoration

A bit of restoration is going on and it is lovely to see behind the scenes.

 Shugborough ceiling

Shugborough - food warmer

This is the last artefact I’m talking about, a food warmer. How amazing is that? I haven’t seen something similar before.


Shugborough Estate is managed by National Trust. It is in Milford, Great Haywood, Stafford ST17 0XB. Is free for members, otherwise the price for adults is £13.60. The car park is free and big, so no worries about where you can park your car.

7 Comment

  1. What a fascinating place to visit. Love the house and I wish I had a library like that. The farm is also fascinating, telling a tale of life long past. I really need a mower like that one!

  2. What a fascinating place to visit! The manor house is gorgeous. Love that desk, it is stunning. And the library is splendid.
    The farm is also excellent. I love visiting old farms. The “humane” muzzle tells a story of sadness.
    Clever Molly which mows the lawn, I wish we had one like that. 🙂

  3. This place is perfect for a fun day out. The estate seems really well taken care of, and as you said it’s really interesting to see some behind-the-scenes of restauration. The library looks amazing, it reminds me of those you can find in German fairytale castles!

    Julia x

  4. This look like a wonderful place to visit!

    I know what you mean when it comes to asking about food at Nation Trust properties. I was at one last year and opted for the baked potato (no butter!), but when I asked if there was any dairy in the coleslaw (such as milk or cream) the staff didn’t know, so I stayed clear of it.

  5. What a lovely place and what a terrific day out. I find some of the implements — like that food warmer, especially — very fun and different. And oh, that library and those lovely ceilings and the wisteria. It sounds like a great day.

  6. So many interesting and lovely photos. We’ve tried using plastic nose rings on calves to get them to quit nursing, but they don’t always work. I always love photos of swans since we don’t have those in the wild around here (unless they migrate through and I’ve just never seen any). I keep going back to Molly the mower. How clever! (I must show my husband. He’ll be fascinated)

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