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.

A Hollandaise Source: Henry Holland’s Benham Park, Berkshire

As the costs of owning a country house mounted in the early-twentieth-century and eventually overwhelmed the finances of many families, so they sought alternative uses for their houses. Whether as a care home, school, or any of other myriad uses, … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Sleeping Beauty: Ombersley Court, Worcestershire

The temptation when Country Life magazine arrives each week is to flick through the properties and make tabloid-esque comparisons about how a detached Regency villa in Dorset with space for a family, chickens, and an excitable spaniel, could be had for the … Continue reading

Posted in for sale, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Guided missel: the rise of the country house guide book

‘Dear Picture Editor for the 2017 National Trust Handbook Yours is a challenging job. Faced with selecting one cover image to represent the National Trust for an entire year and with the myriad opportunities presented by having over two hundred country … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Inadvertent Innovation: Country Life and Property Advertising

Over the last four centuries, the marketing of property has seen relatively few innovations. Those with money and the desire to establish themselves in society would seek out those with knowledge on which estates might be available.  However, the launch of … Continue reading

Posted in Comment, Estates, for sale | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in for sale, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments