Sunday, March 17, 2013

A bit of Shugborough

Meg and I had a walk around this end of the parkland around Shugborough Hall. It’s right alongside the canal, so easily accessible.

The crossing of the Trent pre-dates the current hall by nearly 150 years, built in 1550 by the Earl of Essex. The oldest part of the hall dates from around 1693. A manor house, previously owned by the Bishops of Lichfield, was demolished to make way for William Anson’s new residence.

Essex Bridge 
Only 14 of the original 40 arches remain.
Just upstream of the bridge the River Sow swells the waters of the Trent.

Confluence of Sow (middle) and Trent.SAM_4731On the left is a stream coming in from an ornamental lake in the park.

We followed the coach road from the lodge through a short yew-tree avenue, to where it used to cross the river.

Wonderfully gnarly yewsSAM_4734

And a magnificent cedar

The river bridge is long gone, washed away in one of the regular floods that inundate the river valley. All that’s left is some cast iron railings on the approach and a dressed stone abutment.

We walked along the west bank of the river, then swung right into the estate, past the working home farm.

Fine animals, itchy Angus on the left, Charolais on the right.SAM_4738

Now that's just rude!

Our circular route took us back to the lodge, where the gates to the coach road are being restored.SAM_4742

Splendid cast iron finials

Did you think I’d let you get away without the obligatory shot of Shugborough Hall?SAM_4741

It was a bit dull this morning, but brightened up to give us a mainly sunny afternoon. Wasted really, I watched the Australian GP.
A good solid drive by Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus Renault gave him a victory ahead of the more favoured Ferrari and Red Bull cars. McLaren struggled with performance all weekend, and Lewis Hamilton’s debut with Mercedes gave him a moderate 5th. They’ve time for a quick breather before Malaysia next Sunday.

Meanwhile we’ll be toddling on a bit further, maybe aiming to get to Weston tomorrow.

Locks 0, miles 0

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