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The English Country House - HOA00057I

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Anthony Geraghty
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module explores the development of the English Country house from the middle of the sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module explores the visual aspects of the English country house - architecture, interiors, collections, as well as gardens and landscapes - from the middle of the sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. The seminars are comprised of individual case studies, chosen to reflect the balance of continuity and change that characterises country house design, as well as the larger shifts in taste and value that underpin these developments.

Module learning outcomes

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

  • A broad understanding of the social and architectural development of the English country house from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
  • A detailed knowledge of eight key examples.
  • An ability to analyse and interpret complex buildings, as well as their historic interiors and gardens and landscapes.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Intermediate Assignment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Intermediate Assignment
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Abbott, Mary. Family Ties. English Families 1540-1920. London: Routledge,1993.
  • Arnold, Dana, and Tim Clayton. The Georgian Country House - Architecture, Landscape and Society. Stroud: Sutton,1998.
  • Beckett, J. V. The Aristocracy in England 1660-1914. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989.
  • Cooper, Nicholas. Houses of the Gentry 1480-1680. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
  • Franklin, Jill. The Gentleman’s Country House and its Plan, 1835-1914. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981.
  • Girouard, Mark. Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.
  • Girouard, Mark. The Victorian Country House. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.
  • Girouard, Mark. Robert Smythson & The Elizabethan Country House. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
  • Jackson-Stops, Gervase, and James Pipkin. The English Country House - A Grand Tour. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993.
  • Jackson-Stops, Gervase, ed. The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles. The Building of Castle Howard. London: Faber, 1990.
  • Summerson, John Newenham. Architecture in Britain 1530-1830. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.
  • Williamson, Tom. Polite Landscapes: Gardens and Society in Eighteenth-Century England. Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1995.
  • Wilson, Richard, and Alan Mackley. Creating Paradise. The Building of the English Country House 1660-1880. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.