About this blog

I’m a 30-something amateur architectural historian with a particular love of UK country houses in all their many varied and beautiful forms.   The aim of the blog is to focus on sharing news and comment on UK country houses and stately homes and provide a broader perspective on their place in the rich tapestry of our architectural history.  Much as I celebrate the successes, I’m very alert to the threats which these amazing houses still face either from poor ownership, environmental factors or sheer bad luck.  The articles are a mix of news and more in-depth information drawing on a wide range of research on architectural history, standing on the shoulders of giants such as Howard Colvin, John Summerson, John Harris, Marcus Binney, Mark Girouard, John Julius Norwich, and many others.

This is an independent blog – sadly I don’t own a country house, nor does anyone in my family, though a distant relative was Head Coachman at Flete in Devon at one point. Of course, if anyone would like to leave me a house and estate, I’d be happy to devote myself to keeping it in the manner such estates should be.

Views and opinions are my own regardless of any organisations I may be involved with. I receive no sponsorship/funding from anyone – though I always welcome comments and information from those who own these wonderful homes or who work in the industry. This blog should be a key resource for anyone interested in, or who works with our country houses.

If you have news you’d like to share, please do feel free to get in contact: contact@thecountryseat.org.uk

Thank you for your interest – and don’t forget to subscribe for updates.

Matthew Beckett


And for good measure, here are my top three recommendations to help the survival of our country houses:

  • Reform VAT on listed building repairs to favour conservation.
  • Ensure local councils fully meet their responsibilities as protectors of our heritage.
  • Abolish inheritance tax.

Lost Heritage – a memorial to England’s Lost Country Houses

This blog is the flip-side to my particular interest which is the English country houses  which have been demolished or otherwise lost since 1800 which I highlight through my other website Lost Heritage.  I’m aiming to create the most comprehensive list and illustrate these sad losses through architectural ‘biographies’ and images of each house – the website currently has over 50 ‘biographies’ and hundreds of images.

Do visit it if you want to be shocked and saddened at what has already been lost - Lost Heritage