Happy New Year from The Country Seat

I hope this year has been good to you and that 2019 provides its fair measure of happiness, regardless of whatever life and the world decides to do.

Grade II*-listed Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire, plus 257-acres sold in 2018 for £21.6m (Image © Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank)
Grade II*-listed Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire, plus 257-acres sold in 2018 for £21.6m (Image © Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank)

This year the Country Seat blog has been quiet to say the least (just one post in April: ‘#Repton200: Humphry Repton, landscape gardener – and architect?’), for which I offer some apologies but can confirm that the blog is still live and I will continue to produce articles as and when I can. I also continue to update the research on lost English country houses at Lost Heritage, plus regular updates to Twitter for both: @thecountryseat and @lostheritage.

When I started the blog in 2009, it was (and remains) a personal interest written in my spare time.  I was also single and without children and having written about no country house topics, all were open for me.  Having now, in the last two and bit years, married and had two beautiful children, time is somewhat more limited, and, more surprisingly, after nearly three hundred posts, it is actually harder to find topics once an architect or house has been written about.  That said, I have an article almost ready to go for January…

Anyway, there are others also writing about country houses in the UK and Ireland so below are a few suggestions you should find very interesting:

  • If you use Facebook (and this group is pretty much the only reason I still do!), then Country Houses of the UK and Ireland is the gold standard for content and conduct. The chief contributor is the leading country house historian Nicholas Kingsley, who provides, almost daily, a full history of a country house with illustrations. The group is closed but membership is easy to obtain and will repay your interest.
  • Nicholas also writes a blog on the Landed families of Britain and Ireland which aims to provide a history of each landowning family with a detailed history of each house they have owned – it is truly epic in its scope.
  • If this wasn’t enough, Nicholas also updates the Charles Hind collection of country house images, which provides hours of happy browsing.
  • Another blog I rate as one of the very best is Handed On, which provides a detailed history of a country house which is selected on the basis that it is little-known, either by design or accident. The quality of research is impressive and it’s brilliantly written.
  • Covering the often related but entirely distinctive Irish country houses is The Irish Aesthete, a blog which has helped me enormously to discover more about a fascinating heritage.

Wishing you all again, a Happy New Year and thank you again for your continuing interest and support.

Matthew