Chinese House, Shugborough Park

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Date:1860 - 1870 (c.)

Description:The design for the Chinese House was taken from sketches made by Sir Percy Brett, who accompanied Admiral Anson during his voyage of circumnavigation. The journey included a stay of some months in China.

The Chinese House was completed in 1747, making it the first garden building at Shugborough and one of the earliest examples of the eighteenth century fashion for Oriental design. It was followed in 1752 by the building of a five tier Pagoda over the Sherbrook.

Originally the Chinese House was situated on an island in a canal, linked to the land by two bridges of Chinese design; behind one of these bridges was a small boathouse. This was altered after the floods of 1795 (which also destroyed the Pagoda) when one arm of the canal was drained, connecting the house to the bank.

In 1885 the contents of the Chinese House, including the plaster ceiling, were removed to Shugborough Hall for safekeeping.

This photograph is from an album of local views taken by Edward King Tenison (1805-1878), a highly regarded photographer in the early decades of photography. His family seat was att Kilronen, Roscommon, Ireland and he married Louisa Mary Anne Anson, daughter of the 1st Earl of Lichfield, also an accomplished amateur photographer. These images were probably taken during Tenison's visits to his wife's family home, Shugborough.

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Donor ref:FP81.022.0007 (17/1657)

Source: Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service

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