How to Read a Country House
Why was heraldry so important to the families for whom houses were built? How does the layout of a house reveal the values of the people who lived in it? The country houses of the UK and Ireland are expressions of the best craftsmanship and art of their time, an essential part of the British physical and cultural landscape. Every year, a huge number of us visit these houses, but with a little more understanding of them, our visits can become even more enjoyable. By reading the architectural features of a house, we get a sense of how it has evolved, from such simple items as windows, doors, chimneys and staircases. Interiors, as well as exteriors, have a story to tell, with floor layouts and contents of rooms revealing much about the people who built and lived in them. We can also read the iconography of a house: its symbols and images, spanning subjects such as classical mythology, religion and British history. Heraldry too is an essential tool for understanding much of the details found in country houses, from coats of arms to crests, or fireplace decorations and ceiling bosses. Through all this, we gain a glimpse into the social world of the families who lived there - the stories of many country houses are inextricably linked by marriage, royalty or political or military service. Richly illustrated with stunning photographs from the unique archive of Country Life magazine, this book is a joy for all those who want to learn more about our heritage, art and architecture, and the essential characteristics of a classic country house.
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Reading a Country House
Reading the Outside
Reading the Inside
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A. W. N. Pugin arch architect architecture Belton House Berkshire Buckinghamshire built Burghley Burghley House carved Castle ceiling chamber chimneypiece Classical coat of arms columns created decoration Derbyshire dining room drawing room Duke early eighteenth-century early nineteenth century early twentieth century Edwin Lutyens eighteenth century elegant Elizabethan and Jacobean English country house entrance examples furniture garden Georgian glass Gloucestershire Gothic Revival grand Hall in Derbyshire handsome Hardwick Hall Hatfield House heraldry Hertfordshire house designed House NT Inigo Jones interiors Italian Jacobean John Kent kitchen landscape late seventeenth late seventeenth-century later Lincolnshire long gallery Lord manor house medieval moulding Norman Northamptonshire Northumberland overmantel Oxfordshire painted Palace Palladian panelling Park pediment period plaster plasterwork portico portraits READING A COUNTRY Regency remodelled restored Robert Adam roof roofline sash windows seen servants sixteenth sixteenth-century house Somerset staircase style surviving Sussex Tudor typical usually Victorian country house Waddesdon Manor William Wiltshire Yorkshire