History of Sugnall Hall Estate
By 1500 the manor of Sugnall had passed to the Badger family who lived in Pershall — a hamlet between Sugnall and Eccleshall. They let out the manor house in Sugnall and in 1590 sold the manor of Sugnall to Thomas Pershall.
Pershall was from a local family, a junior branch of the Swynnertons of Swynnerton, that took their name from Pershall in about 1320. Although they held the manor of Pershall, they held very little land there and their main property was at Horseley and Bishop’s Offley. They also acquired Chetwynd near Newport by marriage, but when it went to heiresses around 1440, the surviving male Pershalls were once more left with Horseley and Bishop’s Offley.
They remained minor landowners until Thomas took up the law and made a fortune, in part by specialising in handling lands that had been confiscated; by 1580 he was wealthy enough to start buying up land in the Eccleshall parish and within a few years he had accumulated 3,500 acres.
The Badger’s land was a small part of this, but was to gain great importance under Thomas’s son, John. Not only did the Badger’s land include the site of the manor, but it was a wonderful situation for a house on a hill overlooking Copmere. John purchased one of the very first baronetcies in 1611 and became a major figure in Staffordshire society. The old hall at Horseley was inadequate and so he built a new hall here at Sugnall.
There are no pictures of his house, but it is easy to imagine it being in the Jacobean style. Fragments of the original house survive in later stonework and show that the windows were mullioned and finely carved. Sir John (as he became) also flattened the top of the hill for formal gardens. The lower area, where the walled garden was to be built, was probably used for orchards. The chain of pools towards Copmere were probably dammed by Sir John.
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