Author Archives: Matthew Beckett - The Country Seat

About Matthew Beckett - The Country Seat

An amateur architectural historian with a particular love of UK country houses in all their many varied and beautiful forms.

So, you made the 2016 Sunday Times Rich List – where to live?

The now annual round-up of the richest 1,000 people in the UK (whose wealth can be ascertained…!) has been published today in the Sunday Times (£). Although there are now a few less billionaires than last year in the UK, the … Continue reading

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An Indian takeaway: Sezincote, Gloucestershire

We long for an ‘Indian Summer’, whilst sitting in a bungalow drinking tea, eating curry followed by a sorbet and later having a toddy and going to bed in our khaki pyjamas. There are many words, phrases, foods and customs Britain has … Continue reading

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Reflections on the loss of Clandon Park, Surrey

Loss is mainly regret that will never see something or that we have known it and will never see it again.  Where the loss is of something of beauty, which embodied ideas, history, culture, it takes on many facets. Fire is a destructive, … Continue reading

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National Trust ‘stuff’ debate: ‘Re-presenting the Country House’ – Ben Cowell, Director, NT East of England

Since the earliest days of the country house, one of their primary roles has been display; conveying meaning through designs, devices and decoration. Through the generations this role remained, though each age had their own influence, mostly evolutionary or occasionally a … Continue reading

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Syngenta’s shame: proposed demolition of Dalton Grange, Hudderfield

To paraphrase: ‘all that is required for heritage to be lost, is for good people to do nothing‘.  Sometimes this can be through deliberately ignoring a situation or through lack of awareness that a situation even exists. So, this is … Continue reading

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A Webb of intrigue: one hundred years on from Philip Webb (1831 – 1915)

To mark the centenary of someone’s death may seem morbid but to be worth noting a century later they must truly have been a significant influence.  Philip Speakman Webb, who died in January 1915, certainly can occupy that pantheon of those architects … Continue reading

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Georgian Group Architectural Awards 2014

The efforts of those who choose, or inherit, the responsibility for the care of our nation’s heritage are often unacknowledged – and yet the custodians continue regardless.  Their dedication is such that they will make significant sacrifices in terms of … Continue reading

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