Here we take look at Upton House in Warwickshire, Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire, Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire and Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton.

All National Trust properties that you can visit from the spring onwards. They might be open all year around, but I think it's best to visit in the spring, summer or early autumn. Especially for the gardens and grounds.

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More National Trust properties around the West Midlands Region

Here we take look at Upton House in Warwickshire, Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire, Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire and Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton.

All National Trust properties that you can visit from the spring onwards. They might be open all year around, but I think it's best to visit in the spring, summer or early autumn. Especially for the gardens and grounds.

For my previous National Trusts posts follow these links:

National Trust properties in Birmingham: Back to Backs and The Roundhouse

National Trust properties in Warwickshire

Now on to this selection of National Trust properties!

Upton House from a visit during May 2016.

This visit to Upton House in 2016 was while the house and grounds was set up for an event called "Banking for Victory! A Country House at War". Like it could have been in the 1940s during World War II. At this time it was used as a bank.

It is a country house located northwest of Banbury in Oxfordshire in the areas of Ratley and Upton in Warwickshire. It was built in 1695 for Sir Rushout Cullen, Bt and might have been designed by one of the Smiths of Warwick. Possible alterations in 1710 and again in 1735 for William Bumstead. Remodelled in 1927 to 1929 by Percy Morley Horder for Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted. It's a Grade II* listed building. Built of Ironstone ashlar.


This view at Upton House during May 2016 from the rear lawn area. This was a big lawned area, and at the far right side was an outdoor swimming pool! It leads down to the gardens on the lower part of the grounds. The house has a 16 window range. From here it looks quite wide! There is a small terraced garden just in front of the back of the house. Bunting from the houses time as representing as if it was during wartime. Inside there was more examples of what the house may have looked like during the 1940s.

A look around the inside of the house. This view from a balcony on the first floor looking down at the library. In wartime most of the furniture would have been under white sheets. In 2016 they were projecting a film onto the sheet between the pair of portraits. "The pre-war heyday of the country house party never returned."

Another room, I think the lounge or living room. How it could have looked during the 1930s or 1940s. A pair of comfortable chairs with a fire in the middle. I assume that there must have been a wireless (radio) in this room? Also old books on the shelves. Was also a desk near the window, which I assume is where Lord Bearsted may have worked, or read his newspaper?

If you fancy a bite of lunch and a hot drink, then the Wartime Pavilion Restaurant is the place to come! That was temporarily renamed to "Wartime" in 2016 while Upton House was in it's 1940s wartime representation mode. Now just the Pavilion Restaurant again. Other place for tea is Iris's Tea Room and the Tea Window.

Hanbury Hall from a visit during June 2018.

During this visit in the summer of 2018, they had Falconry on display in the grounds. We got a guided tour of the house, but only on the ground floor. After I went back outside, I didn't go back in to have a look around upstairs.

It is a large stately home built around 1701 in the Queen Anne style by William Rudhall for Thomas Vernon. Red brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings. It is a Grade I listed building. Located in Hanbury, Worcestershire. The nearest town is Droitwich Spa. It has been a part of the National Trust since around 1953. The last baron Sir George Vernon took his own life here in 1940. And their were no further heirs and the Baronetcy which became extinct.

If you are a bit early for your guided tour of Hanbury Hall, then head towards the Long Gallery. This view from The Sunken Parterre. Inside was a small art gallery featuring the art of local artists. The building is a Grade II* listed building. Built in 1701 and had alterations in the mid 19th century. Red brick in Flemish bond; hipped plain tiled roof. In the Queen Anne style. Inside are two Jacobean overmantels and also frames a funerary hatchment with the three Vernon wheatsheaves. Prince of Wales feathers inside believed to have originally come from Tickenhill House, Bewdley.

The Orangery at Hanbury Hall. Also known now as The Orangery & Mushroom House. It is a Grade II* listed building. Built around 1750. Red brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings and hipped plain tiled roof behind parapet. There was orange trees outside. And a large field. Which was behing used by many families on the day of our visit. One area was roped off for a falconry display (I think we kept missing it). Although I did see the handler with a bald eagle on his special glove!

The interior of the house on the ground floor. Seen during a guided tour. This was the Great Hall. We were taken in and out of the various rooms. The main entrance to the house lets you into this room. Above the fireplace on the left was a marble bust of Thomas Vernon. Behind (not in this photo below) was the staircase with the Life of Achilles wall paintings. Unfortunately I did not go upstairs as it was not part of the tour, and I didn't later return to go back inside of the house.

The Dining Room at Hanbury Hall. Quite grand. Family portraits all round the room and a painted ceiling above. I believe that the papers on the table was representing a Suffragette meeting in 1918 (as 2018 was the 100th anniversary of Women gaining the vote).

Shugborough Hall from a visit during August 2008.

I hadn't fully taken up photography in 2008, and started using my then compact camera in 2007 - 2008 when we went to various stately homes or on holiday to various places.

The hall is located in Great Haywood, Staffordshire, not far from Cannock Chase. It was the seat of the Earls of Lichfield and the estate was in the possession of the Anson family for three centuries. When the 4th Earl of Lichfield died in 1960, the National Trust was allocated the hall and it was leased to Staffordshire County Council. Management returned to the National Trust in 2016. The hall is a Grade I listed building. Was built from about 1695. Was enlarged from 1760 to 1770. Samuel Wyatt remodelled it in the late 18th century. More specifically it is in Colwich, Stafford.

The rear view of Shugborough Hall seen in the summer of 2008. I recall that we did go inside of the house, but I only got a handful of photos from outside of the house and around the grounds. Some steps down from the French windows that Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield (1939-2005) might have enjoyed the view of his garden. Also known as Patrick Lichfield he was known as a photographer and he took official photos of the Royal Family. He lived at Shugborough Hall after his grandfather's death, but he gave the estate to the National Trust in 1960 in lieu of death duties.

The Doric Temple at Shugborough Hall. It is a Grade I listed building and was designed by "Athenian" Stuart, circa 1760. It was identical to one that he had built at Hagley. Made of stone and plastered brick. With 6 Doric columns. It has been recently restored (the listing was from 1968 so perhaps restored in the late 1960s?).

A Chinese style bridge. Grade I listed as the Garden Bridge. Probably dates to the late 18th century. It is on the River Sow. The Chinese House is next to it (not in the photo below). That was erected by Admiral Anson circa 1747 after his voyage round the world.

Outbuildings at Shugborough Hall, not far from the Vegetable patch. Which is a Grade II listed building dating to the early 19th century, although I'm not sure the building in the photo is part of the same listing. This might be the Orangery. I've not been back in over 10 and a half years now. Seems like that there is now the Mansion Tea Room somewhere around this location. Also known as the Shugborough Hall Cafe.

Wightwick Manor during a visit in April 2018.

On this visit we became members of the National Trust. Eventually received a card that can get scanned whenever you visit any National Trust property around the UK.

It is a Victorian manor house located on the Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton. Built in 1887, the National Trust has owned it since 1937. The house was built by Edward Ould for Theodore Mander, of the Mander family. They were successful late 19th century industialists who owned the company Mander Brothers. The house was only 50 years old when the National Trust acquired it from Geoffrey Mander (a Liberal MP who was son of the original owner). A Grade I listed building. Interiors by William Morris and and C.E. Kempe. Built of brick with ashlar dressings and timber
framing. The house was built in the Aesthetic movement and Arts and Crafts movement. And the house is half-timbered, Mock Tudor style.

A look around the house at Wightwick Manor. The house is very much as the Mander family left it in 1937 and the National Trust has preserved it. A look at the library. There is a desk close to the window on the left with papers and books probably used by Mr Mander. Stained glass window is in this room and in other rooms. Some parts were done up in 2018 to represent the Suffragette movement who finally gained the vote in 1918!

View of The Great Parlour from the Gallery above. Plenty of period seating inside. A lady (a National Trust volunteer) seen playing the piano. While a man sitting on the bench takes a rest (I think he had his dog with him). A stags head seen at the far end of the room above the entrance to the room.

Some of the buildings on the estate. This is now the Malthouse Gallery. Head up the steps to see the art inside. A Grade II* listed building. It was the Old Malt House. At the time of listing was used as an Education Centre. Was built either in the late 16th or early 17th century. It was restored for Theodore Mander in the late 19th century. Brick with red brick dressings; tile roof. The De Morgan collection is inside on the first floor of the malthouse. Various ceramics and paintings around the room. Before the Mander's bought the buildings and land, it was the site of a farm. The Hinckes family owned it from 1815 but leased it to the Moore's until the 1880's. The Malthouse was originally used for malting barley and brewing.

The gift shop and plant sales are in this building (with the plants available to pick up from outside). This was the Old Manor House and it is a Grade II* listed building. Built for the Wightwick family in the late 16th or early 17th century. Theodore Mander has it restored in the late 19th century. Roughcast with brick dressings; tile roof with brick stacks. There is a coat of arms above the entrance to the gift shop. Also on one side is a sundial that resembles a black lion. The Old Manor House is a short distance away from the manor house that the Mander family had built in the late 19th century.


Photos taken by Elliott Brown.