The Shugborough Estate was initially the property of the bishop of Lichfield until it fell into royal hands following Henri VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. It then passed to the Anson family. It is today a National Trust property. The house was closed at this time of year and its outside presents a modest interest. The parkland and, to a lesser extent, the garden, are more impressive (we can't judge on the house's interiors). The landscape was in fact the owner (Thomas Anson)'s personal vision of paradise. He spared no expense from the treasure looted by his brother to the Spanish to shape it accordingly. Features of interest are the special breed of cows one find on the land and the nearby Essex bridge, the longest packhorse one in England.
Sudbury is technically in Derbyshire, but very close to the frontier with Staffordshire. It was mentioned in the Domesday book as belonging to Henry de Ferrers and to be worth twenty shillings. The highlight is Sudbury's hall, in the restoration style (one of the finest examples), which also hosts the Museum of Childhood. The house is linked to the Vernon family.
We had not planned to visit Uttoxeter, but it was so conveniently on the way and a worthwhile destination that we added it to our list.