Tag Archives: bedfordshire

‘An agreeable surprise’ – the country house and garden sculpture

The country house has long been at a nexus of art, display and tourism with the treasures, mainly statues, collected by the owner shown in a grand gallery which often formed one of the main staterooms.  Whereas the house provided … Continue reading

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Going to the country: more country houses of UK Prime Ministers – Part 2

The first part of this series, highlighted the aristocratic background of our early Prime Ministers – Earls and Dukes abound.  This meant that a country house was just where they had been brought up and simply regarded as home rather … Continue reading

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The rise and fall of French taste on UK country houses

For all the traditional antipathy towards the French, the influence of their architecture has been felt throughout Britain’s country houses.  Although initially the use of the French architectural vocabulary was a sign of wealth and education only available to the … Continue reading

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So you can’t afford a whole house: country house apartments

Country houses were always a community with not only the family but also a significant number of staff.  Yet as these houses became more uneconomical and houses emptied, large sections often lay dormant, until the family moved out and, in … 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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Conversion reversion? Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

With so many country houses lost in the twentieth century, almost any alternative which saved them from the demolition crew was to be welcomed; no matter how drastic.  For some this meant institutional use but for many others of all … Continue reading

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