Accessibility statement

Period Band B/C

The English Country House 1550-1900

Tutor: Anthony Geraghty


This course will introduce students to the evolution of the English Country House from the mid sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. The country house will be understood broadly, to encompass the architecture, planning and contents of the houses, together with their wider setting within gardens and landscapes.


By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • a good knowledge of the English country house (and its literature) over three and a half centuries
  • skills in the analysis of architecture, interior design, gardens, and landscapes
  • some understanding of the changing social, economic and cultural patterns on the designs and layout of the country house in the period

Preliminary Reading

  • M. Abbott, Family Ties. English Families 1540-1920 (1993).
  • D. Arnold (ed), The Georgian Country House - Architecture, Landscape and Society (1998).
  • J. V. Beckett, The Aristocracy in England 1660-1914 (1986).
  • N. Cooper, Houses of the Gentry 1480-1680 (1999).
  • M Girouard, Life in the English Country House: a Social and Architectural History (1978/80).
  • R Wilson and A Mackley, Creating Paradise.  The Building of the English Country House 1660-1880 (2000).
  • G Jackson-Stops and J Pipkin, The English Country House - A Grand Tour (1984/93).
  • G Jackson-Stops, ed, The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting (Exhibition Catalogue, Washington, 1985).
  • J Harris, The Design of the English Country House, 1620-1920 (1985).
  • A Elton, B Harrison and K Wark, Researching the Country House: A Guide for Local Historians (1992).
  • M Girouard, Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House (1966/83).
  • C Christie, The British Country House in the Eighteenth Century (2000)


Castle Howard fountain, Yorkshire

Module code HOA00057I