Sunday, 6 November 2016

MosaicMonday # 15 - Attingham Park, Shropshire.

On our last trip over to the UK we spent a lovely morning touring Attingham Park a perfect example of Georgian architecture located close to the village of Atcham in Shropshire.
If you're a Downton Abbey fan you'll like this story.
Here's a brief history.......................
Attingham was built between 1772 and 1785 by George Steuart for Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick. There was already a house on the site, called Tern Hall, which was incorporated into the new building.

Tern Hall is the lower building on the left
which was incorporated into Attingham Park in the 1780's
The 1st Baron was a politician and friend of the then Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger,.
He made his fortune through politics and business and with his wife Anne had six children, the only children ever to live at Attingham Park.
The 2nd Lord Berwick was Thomas who inherited the title at the tender age of 19. He remained unmarried until he was 41 when he married 17 year old Sophia Dubochet.

Having always lived an extravagant life Thomas was forced to auction off many of the contents of Attingham Park before being declared bankrupt in 1827 at which time he and Sophia fled to Italy to escape their creditors.

Thomas died, childless, in exile in 1832.

At the time of the bankruptcy auctions Thomas' younger brother, William, (3rd Lord Berwick) was the ambassador to Italy. He attempted to buy back as many auctioned pieces as possible and reinstated them at Attingham alongside 18th century Italian furniture acquired during his ambassadorship.

When he inherited the title he moved into Attingham with his Italian mistress who bore him several illegitimate children who would not inherit.

The Baronetcy passed to a younger brother Richard, a clergyman, who had never expected to inherit the title. However, he very much enjoyed living the life of a country gentleman and once again the Berwick family fortunes were depleted. The estate's very extensive wine cellars were especially diminished by the 4th Lord Berwick.
Although a confirmed bachelor Richard fathered many illegitimate sons which meant that the title continued.
His son Richard became the 5th Lord, he restored the family's fortunes creating a model farm and establishing a nationally famous herd of Herefordshire cattle.

His brother the 6th Lord was a 60 year old military man when he inherited the title, like Richard, he was childless and never resided at Attingham Park.
The 7th Lord wasn't a direct descendent of the Parson and came to the title through another branch of the family. He married a Swedish woman, together they were content to spend their days sailing the Mediterranean and spending the Berwick fortune, they never lived at Attingham.

Downstairs: the Butler's pantry, Housekeepers Parlour and Estate Managers Office.
During the First Word War Thomas, 7th Lord Berwick, let Attingham Park to a tenant who established a hospital for wounded soldiers.
After the war Thomas married Theresa Hulton in 1919 and mortgaged the house to facilitate the purchase of paintings, sculptures, carpets and furnishings necessary because the tenants of the house had been very neglectful and many of the rooms were uninhabitable. Thomas and Theresa made the restoration of the house their life's work, selling 4000 of the estates 8000 acres to finance the work.
When Thomas died in 1947 he left the house to the National Trust who leased it to Sir George Trevelyan who then set up an Adult Education College.

In the 1990's the National Trust began to painstakingly restore and renovate the house, I particularly enjoyed seeing the "Downstairs" rooms which have been wonderfully recreated.

Whilst we were touring the house we came across TV presenter Alistair Appleton with an "Escape to the Country" film crew in tow. I'm very much looking forward to watching that episode in the next series.
My internet connection this weekend is a little hit and miss, hopefully normal service will be resumed in time for MM.
Please go ahead and linkup as usual however it might take me a little longer to visit your blogs this week.


  1. What fascinating history these houses tell. And what wild lives some of the Lords lived!
    Thanks for hosting MM, Maggie. I hope your internet woes are soon solved.

  2. loved the history and your pictures. I'm glad it is a National Trust and open to the public. The paintings of the prize cattle displayed like precious family portraits made me smile. We just finished binging on Downton (we missed it when it ran on PBS), so yes, I loved this post for itself and for the reminders of that great show (the WWI hospital particularly).

  3. Thank you so much for hosting ! I hate when our Internet is down or slow -- hope you get yours fixed soon.

  4. Good morning Maggie! A wonderful place to visit! Great interiors and the Downstairs life interested highly me too.
    Wishing you a lively week.

  5. A fascinating tour of past times and life shows your interesting post ..
    Warm greetings from Germany

  6. Definitely a Downton Abbey fan! How interesting to read all the ups and downs of one family. I am sure you enjoyed your visit.

  7. Good Morning dearest Maggie !

    I'm so grateful to you, my cherished friend, your Monday blog post is always simply stunning and to be hosted at your link-up party is always such a treat to me !

    Wishing you all my best for your week just begun
    I'm sending blessings & hugs to you

    Xx Dany

  8. Hello Maggie
    Such interesting history of this house and the many illegitimate who sadly could not claim inheritance.I'm glad it eventually went to the National Trust for preservation! I hope your internet resumes normal service soon!

  9. Dearest Maggie; Thank you SO much for the wonderful tour for this historical house, truly enjoyed the atmosphere from England♡♡♡
    Well, I was SO busy to visit friends kindly commented me. To answer your question, I collect (or collected) free scrapbook from various talented ladies sites. I was happy to be able to use them freely :-) I admire their artistic talent which I don't have any at all.
    Oh, I just got your comment; Thank you SO much for your sweet words♪
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in France, xoxo Miyako*

  10. I loved your post. I have visited attingham some years ago so it was lovely to have a reminder. An intriguing family! B x

  11. I really enjoy visiting National Trust Properties. This is a nice one. How sad that the tenants didn't respect the property but so nice that Thomas restored the property. Thanks for hosting Mosaic Monday.

  12. Enjoyed reading that! Attingham is not far from me, the last time I visited they were just staring to plant the walled garden. Half of it was done, I need to go back and see the other half now! I took my mum and mum in law for a Mothers Day tea a few years ago now and had a lovely day, Jane x

  13. Maggie, this is the best post! I so enjoyed reading all the history of this property. These large country estates are fascinating to me. I've toured several of the National Trust properties, and enjoyed each visit. Thanks for taking us along on this one. Magnificent!

  14. What a wonderful visit you shared this week Maggie, always appreciated. Thank you too for hosting Mosaic Monday 15.

  15. Fascinating history ..... thank you for hosting and sharing!

  16. This is very cool, Maggie. I love the Downton-y-like connections of generations and like you, the downstairs rooms would be especially fascinating to me! Thanks for a fun post!

  17. Hi Maggie, I very much enjoyed the story behind this lovely place...sounds very much like Downton, indeed! Reading this post makes me miss it even more, wishing they would continue the series :( Thanks for the history lesson and for hosting Mosaic Monday!

  18. I enjoyed this post. What a history behind the old house. My dream is to return to England to tour these grand old castles. Here in the states public tv runs a 6 episode series on the remaining castles of England, those grand estates that have survived so much neglect. Wonderful photos. I have had just now a very nice arm chair vacation.

  19. Yes, I was one of many people here in Norway, who really enjoyed Downton Abbey, and I have been visiting some huge places like Churchills home down in Kent.
    What a nice blog you have and how creative you are. I will be back :)


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!