A new book on the Weston Park estate to transport readers through its 600 year history

Gareth Williams with his new book

Weston Park: Home, Families and Influence was written by Gareth Williams, curator and head of learning at the stately home.

The estate, at Weston-under-Lizard, Shifnal, was the ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford and has a history dating back to medieval times.

In 1986 the house and 1,000 acre park were gifted to the people of this country by the current Earl of Bradford.

The estate is now owned and managed by the Weston Park Foundation, an independent charitable trust.

Gareth said: “Weston Park and its collections are relatively unknown beyond Staffordshire and Shropshire, but its influence goes far beyond these two counties.

“Families who have lived in Weston have been involved in national affairs, politics, the legal profession and the military, with important links to the development of the urban centers of Walsall, Bolton and Wigan as well as the rural areas around to accommodate her.

“Weston Park has been a prestigious home, visited by royalty and politicians, and houses a fascinating collection including a significant collection of paintings assembled in the late 17th and early 18th century which are now enjoyed by visitors to the house and form a backdrop to events that take place regularly in Weston.

“It’s a fascinating story, never before collected, to explain how this very rural English stately home is, in fact, associated with the development of so many other places across Britain.”

The book presents a chronological view of Weston Park’s historical associations, as well as people connected with the estate, from the medieval period to the present day.

The chapters bring together the various families who have owned the property, with sections dealing with the complex evolution of the house’s architecture and the creation of the world-renowned art collections.

Prior to joining Weston Park in 2006, Gareth was formerly Regional Director of Sotheby’s and National Trust Curator at Nostell Priory.

Andrea Webster, Weston Park Marketing Manager, said: “Gareth has worked hard to research and document the history of this unique property, and the finished book is stunning.

“It is a fitting testament to the house, its setting, its extraordinary collections, the people involved and the influence it has had on wider communities.”

Weston Park: Home, Families and Influence is published by Boydell Press and costs £40.

Angela C. Hale