Great Houses of Britain Author:Nigel Nicolson The country house is a peculiarly British phenomenon - a unique expression of British character and way of life. This lavishly illustrated volume decribes in words and pictures thirty-nine of the finest of these homes in England, Scotland, and Wales, ranging from medieval manor houses and Tudor halls to classical Palladian mansions and elegant ... more »Georgian residences.
Such familiar great houses as Knole, Chatsworth, and Blenheim are mingled with less well-known but no less beautiful structures, such as Ightham Mote, Blickling Hall, and Easton Neston. Each one is a masterpiece of its period, and great names - Inigo Jones, Sir John Vanbrugh, Robert Adam, and James Wyatt - are linked with many of them. All the main architectural styles from the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century are represented.
The houses have been chosen for their associations as well as for their architectural merits. Many have belonged to great aristocratic families or famous statesmen and have been the scene of important events in British social and political history. The author and photographer have visited each of the houses together and have succeeded in capturing their outstanding qualities and distinctive individual character. The lively text and superb photographs (40 plates in full color and almost 400 in monochrome) present the history and architecture of each house, the interior decoration, the works of art and fine furniture they contain, the famous personalities associated with them, and the beautiful parks and gardens in which many of them are set.
Nigel Nicolson was brought up at Knole, one of the great houses included in the book, and is himself the owner of Sissinghurst, a Tudor castle in Kent.« less
While the 1965 book flap decribes these as "country houses", they would be considered more along the lines of castles today. Amazing wealth of architectural detail, including all the moldings, bas-relief, and elaborately painted ceilings your heart could desire. Great book for antiquarians or lovers of old architecture.