Category Archives: Comment

‘The National Trust can have it’: why the NT can’t accept all offers

In an ideal world no country house would ever be at risk but poor finances, often caused by pernicious death duties, and insufficient income from the estate or investments leaves families facing the reality of being unable to stay in … Continue reading

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Looking for a saviour: St Osyth Priory, Essex

Of the phrases most likely to cause concern for those who love our country houses, up there with ‘dry rot’, ‘water leak’ and ‘death duties’ has to be ‘enabling development’.  Originally designed to protect heritage assets by permitting limited development … Continue reading

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A restoration or a recreation: Knightshayes Court, Devon

For all the wonderful work the National Trust has done over the last hundred years saving numerous country houses from demolition, one criticism that has been levelled at it is the almost artificial atmosphere it has created inside.  A recent … Continue reading

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Houses as hospitals: the country houses in medical service

Our country houses have always been adaptable as changing fashions or functions required they accommodate new ways of living or roles.  One role which quite a few houses have taken on is that of hospital – either privately or as … Continue reading

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As predicted; Cherkley Court, Surrey now for sale

When the doors to Cherkley Court in Surrey closed to visitors in December 2009, it was thought that low visitor numbers had proved it uneconomic to keep the house and gardens open.  However, as predicted by a commenter to my … Continue reading

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For the polo enthusiast; for sale – Cowdray Park House, Sussex

Despite a house having been in the family for over a hundred years, sometimes it can seem the most rational choice to sell.  For the current Lord Cowdray, the idea that he might saddle his heir with what he considers … Continue reading

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Restoration continues inside and out; Wilton House and others

Any time of economic difficulties can often lead to any expenditure being put on hold, including vital restoration projects.  So it’s encouraging to see projects still being completed – but as some of these were approved and started back in … Continue reading

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