The English Arts & Crafts Country House
Some of the most influential architects and designers of the past 150 years – William Morris, Philip Webb, Richard Norman Shaw, and Edwin Lutyens – are associated with the Arts & Crafts movement, or the ‘Domestic Revival’ as it was known in the 19th century. They were drawn to the movement’s central premise: that design in an industrial age was ugly, mechanistic, and dehumanizing, and that honest construction and individual craftsmanship showed the way forward.
There was one place where these dreams and ideals came together – the English Arts & Crafts country house, which was at once a family home, as well as a symbol of excellence. Houses like Standen, designed by Arts & Crafts architect Philip Webb, stand together with romantic masterpieces such as Wightwick Manor, or smaller gems like Ernest Gimson’s Stoneywell. These houses exemplify a historical moment when designers dared to say that Beauty and Truth mattered, and that to have one without the other was morally wrong.
In this lecture, author Adrian Tinniswood OBE celebrates the movement’s dedication to the total work of art; its joy in simple vernacular buildings. He will honor its greatest achievement, in which all those abstract notions become real – the Arts & Crafts country house in England.
Adrian Tinniswood OBE, Author
Adrian Tinniswood OBE FSA, studied English and Philosophy at Southampton University and was awarded an MPhil at Leicester University. He has acted as a consultant to the National Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is currently Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Buckingham and Visiting Fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University. He has lectured at several Universities in both the United Kingdom and United States, including the University of Oxford and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of 16 books on architectural and social history including His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren; By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London; The Verneys, Pirates of Barbary; The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars; Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household (2018). Tinniswood was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to heritage.