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The English Country House

James Peill


‘Glorious ... Brimming with characters, fine architecture, portraits, parkland and chapels, a must for anyone interested in the English country house’ Historic House

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The country houses of England are among her crowning glories. Presented here are ten outstanding examples, all still in the hands of descendants of the original owners.

The houses range from Kentchurch Court, a fortified medieval manor house that has been the seat of the Scudamore family for nearly 1,000 years, to a delightful Strawberry Hill-style Gothic house in rural Cornwall, the ducal palace of Badminton in Gloucestershire, and Goodwood House, England’s greatest sporting estate. Many of the houses remain closed to the public – and some have never been featured in a book before.

James Peill recounts the ups and downs of such deeprooted dynasties as the Cracrofts, whose late 18th-century Hackthorn Hall is a perfect example of the kind of house Jane Austen describes in her novels (indeed, she appears on their family tree), as well as the Biddulphs, who constructed the Arts and Crafts masterpiece Rodmarton in the first decades of the last century. James Fennell provides superb photographs of a wealth of gardens, charming interiors, bygone sporting trophies, fine art collections and evocative family memorabilia.

A stirring source of inspiration for all those concerned with living traditions and classic interiors, here is a proud celebration of England’s country house heritage.

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'Combines intriguing family history with stunning images of both the properties themselves and their prized art collections'
Art Quarterly

'Many of the houses are closed to the public, and some have never been featured in a book before, so there is much novelty to enjoy here. The photographs are wonderful … a proud celebration of England’s country house heritage'
Good Book Guide

'Its tone is deliberately light, balancing the nuts and bolts of architectural history with family anecdote … offers inspiration for colour, pattern and the arrangement of rooms … very enjoyable'
World of Interiors

'Lavishly illustrated … a hand-picked ensemble of beautiful, ancient and handsome country homes'
Irish Examiner

Town & Country

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Reduced Format edition

Size: 28.0 x 21.2 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 225

Publication date: 2 February 2017

ISBN: 9780500293072

About the Author

James Peill is the curator of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. He is the co-author of The Irish Country House.

Julian Fellowes is an English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, and a Conservative peer of the House of Lords.

James Fennell’s photographs have appeared in many books. They range from candid portraits of Ireland’s vanishing traditions and characters, to capturing the unique legacy of history and magnificence of some of Britain’s finest properties.

List of Contributors

Julian Fellowes, James Fennell

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