The English country house reached its apotheosis in the nineteenth century. Designed by the most eminent architects of the age, the houses were bigger, more elaborate and more lavishly furnished than ever before, becoming a byword throughout the world for luxury, technological innovation and convenience of plan.
Michael Hall’s new survey draws on the Country Life archive to present the most complete visual record yet published of the Victorian country house. Chronologically arranged to span the decades from the 1830s to the 1890s, the houses range from the High Gothic of Tyntesfield to Ferdinand Rothschild’s flamboyantly French Waddesdon Manor and Philip Webb’s Arts and Crafts interiors at Standen.
Victorian houses have suffered more from sales and demolitions than houses from any other period. The Country Life images are the only record of great houses such as Wrest Park, Thoresby Hall and Hewell Grange in their heyday. Houses that have survived with their interiors intact but are little known to the public are also featured, such as Flintham Hall and the Earl of Harrowby’s Sandon Hall. Here, too, are spectacular colour photographs of some of the most celebrated houses of the period, from A. W. N. Pugin’s Scarisbrick Hall to J. D. Crace’s astonishing interiors at Longleat.
With over 150 superb photographs and a commentary by one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, this book provides an excellent overview of a major period in British architectural history.
Michael Hall is an architectural historian and the Editor of Apollo magazine. A former Architectural Editor and Deputy Editor of Country Life, he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a trustee of Emery Walker’s Arts and Crafts house and Chairman of the Victorian Society’s activities committee. His books include The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life, also published by Aurum.