The Library

A wealth of fine books have been published on our wonderful country houses and I rely heavily on the many erudite and knowledgeable authors who produce them. As I often receive emails asking for general recommendations, below are a selection of some of the best books currently available on country houses (a perfect destination for gift ideas for anyone who loves country houses!) – and I’ll add more as I go. The criteria are that I have read and found them interesting, that they are in print and widely available.

Large books

Adam Houses: From the Archives of “Country Life” – Eileen Harris

Edwin Lutyens: Country Houses – From the Archives of “Country Life” (Country Life) – Gavin Stamp (cheaper paperback also available)

Elizabethan Architecture: Its Rise and Fall, 1540-1640 – Mark Girouard

English Country House Interiors – Jeremy Musson

England’s Lost Houses: From the Archives of “Country Life” – Giles Worsley

Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates – John Martin Robinson

Houses of the Lake District – Christopher Holliday

Irish Houses & Gardens: From the Archives of “Country Life” – Sean O’Reilly

Lost Country Houses of Suffolk – W.M. Roberts

Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) – John Harris

Scotland’s Lost Houses – Ian Gow

Scottish Houses and Gardens: From the Archives of “Country Life” (Country Life) – Ian Gow

The Country Houses of John Vanbrugh: From the Archives of “Country Life” (Country Life) – Jeremy Musson

The Classical Country House: From the Archives of “Country Life” – David Watkin

The Jacobean Country House: From the Archives of “Country Life” – Nicholas Cooper

The Lost Houses Of Ireland: A Chronicle of the Great Houses and the Families Who Lived There – Randal MacDonnell

The Regency Country House: From the Archives of “Country Life” (Country Life) – John Martin Robinson

Twentieth Century Castles in Britain – Amicia de Moubray

Small books

Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of a Great English Dynasty – Catherine Bailey

Castles In The Air: The Restoration Adventures of Two Young Optimists and a Crumbling Old Mansion – Judy Corbett

Champagne and Shambles – Crisis at the Country House: The Tale of the Arkwrights – Catherine Beale

Madresfield: One house, one family, one thousand years – Jane Mulvagh

No Voice from the Hall: Early Memories of a Country House Snooper – John Harris

The Big House: The Story of a Country House and its Family – Christopher Simon Sykes

The Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House – Anne Sebba

Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant – Jeremy Musson

Guides to houses and gardens open to the public

Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens

Invitation to View

Heritage Open Days

National Gardens Scheme’s Yellow Book

In the interests of transparency; these links are Amazon Affiliate links on which I would earn a small commission if someone is kind enough to purchase one, even though the price you pay is exactly the same.  Any funds raised will almost certainly be ploughed back into buying more books – can’t help myself really, it’s almost an addiction.



3 thoughts on “The Library

  1. Andrew March 4, 2012 / 13:10

    For a complete list of books published annually on country houses, see 2011 and 2012.

  2. Emma February 18, 2013 / 19:45

    May I make a suggestion? ‘Life in the English Country House’ by Mark Girouard

  3. Freddie Stockdale September 8, 2013 / 17:25

    This is the one essential book on Country Houses, revolutionising our understanding of them when it came out. I would also suggest Creating Paradise.

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