English country house

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Holkham Hall, one of the grandest English country houses. Country houses not only displayed the owners' fashionable and cultivated tastes, but was the center of a vast landed estate, providing employment to hundreds

The English country house is generally accepted as a large house that was once in the ownership of an individual who in most of the cases owned another great house in the West End of London. The country house was not only a weekend retreat for aristocrats, but also often a full time residence for the minor gentry.

Evolution of the English country house[change | edit source]

The country houses of England have developed over the last 500 years. Before this time most larger houses were fortified, because their owners were feudal lords or overlords of their manor. The Tudor period of stability in the country saw the first of the large unfortified coutry houses.

With the rise of modern industry and urbanization, when people left the country to go to the big cities the popularity of country houses declined as there were less people in the country. After 1945 it became very difficult to pay for the huge staff that was required to maintain these houses.

References[change | edit source]

  • Girouard, Mark. Life in the English Country House : a social and architectural history details the impact of social change on design

Other websites[change | edit source]