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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire is just south of the Great Haywood Jct, where the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal joins the Trent & Mersey. Following crippling death duties it went from the Earl of Litchfields family home to the the National Trust who have leased the whole estate to Staffordshire county council.

The picture above shows the main house and like others i have seen i found it boring. BUT the difference here at Shug` hall is that the council have used all the other parts of the estate as a museum of country life.

The stables contain a collection of horse drawn carriages, servants quarters, the kitchens and storerooms and so much more.

The farm sited away from the house and reached by a ride on the road train contains a working mill, a museum of agriculture, butter and cheese making demos plus lots of how it used to be exhibits.

Just next to the farm lies the Walled Garden which used to supply the whole estate with fruit & veg. It is being re-planted with the same produce that grew here 200 yrs ago. part of the surrounding wall has cavitys where fires would be lit and the heat would spread along the wall and the warmth would help speed the growth of certain fruits. one side of the garden contains the head gardners house and some very small accomadation for garden workers, these now used as demo units for woodworking, leather work and other old country skills.

Yep as stately homes go this one is tops. Well done Staffs council. If you boat this way it`s worth a stop. Check out the bridge his lordship had built so he could get to church. The one over the canal is still there and if you go across the river you can find signs of the river bridge long gone.

Check the cottages his lordship had built to house villagers when he re-located the village so it was away from his manor,

The history both on and near the canal system is huge, if you just ask and look around as you travel, life can become a second education.

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs