Old Homes, New Life: The Resurgence of the British Country House
From Jane Austen to Julian Fellowes, Ian McEwan to Evelyn Waugh, the British country house has entranced visitors for centuries with their architecture, art and treasures, and beguiling history. But British country houses are more than just places of beauty and history. They are survivors that have dodged the consequences of wastrel heirs, dark times of war, excessive duties and taxation, and the costs of modernization. While they represent epic continuity and tradition, they are still family homes that may be not wholly private, are packed with fragile treasures that cannot realistically be sold, and have to function as working estates.
In their lecture, former Country Life Editor Clive Aslet and photographer Dylan Thomas will celebrate the resurgence of the British country house, and explore the intimate lives of the people who continue to live in them. They will illustrate the joys and perils of living in a British country house that may be tied to an old way of life, but also must survive in the 21st century. We will see glimpses into armory halls and moats, private chapels, walled gardens and family kitchens. They will also discuss the new roles for these country houses including as film sets for period pictures, as well as for modern reality programming.