A Twitter post from @Archispeak asking “Who coined the term “stately home” and when?” prompts the Times to delves into it’s archives to try and find an answer.
The earliest mention in their archives is from February 1847 in a story relating the terrible destruction by fire of Easton Lodge in Essex. A gallery of images of the house can also be found on the ‘Lost Heritage’ website: Easton Lodge
As to whether 1847 is really the earliest use of the term it seems unlikely – I’m sure with a bit of research something earlier can be found.
Blog post: ”Who invented the “stately home”?’‘ [The Times]
The well-known wine critic Hugh Johnson has said there will be no more public open days to the garden at his home, Saling Hall in Essex, following thefts from the gardens.
After 40 years of providing pleasure for many who turned up to his 12-acre gardens, he has been forced to restrict access to approved groups only, after thieves used the open days as a way of planning their thefts.
Losses include a large statue which he now fears has become “£300 of lead sheet” and bizarrely, packets of seeds from the potting shed. A previous burglary in May had removed other fine objects including a 17th century astronomical sphere.
As always, someone with little care for others will ruin a good thing. One can only be grateful it lasted as long as it did before some idiot took advantage as is all to common.
Full story: ‘Hugh Johnson keeps stately home garden closed after thieves steal sculptures‘ [Daily Telegraph]