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Great Houses of England and Wales

Great Houses of England and Wales

Laurence King

By Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and Christopher Simon Sykes


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In this chronological selection of thirty-two of the most notable houses in England and Wales, Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and Christopher Simon Sykes present a panoramic history of the evolution of the 'great house'. The selection tours acknowledged architectural masterpieces, such as Castle Howard, along with lesser-known delights, such as Tredegar – one of a number of houses in this book that were closed to the public for many years. It is also a history of great families, seen as part of the houses they created, where their descendants, in many cases, still live today. Full of memorable characters and anecdotal insight, this book is a glorious tribute to what Evelyn Waugh called 'our chief national artistic achievement'.

The original photographs show the unexpected as well as the familiar – the private rooms and the servants' quarters as well as the grand exteriors and state rooms, the gardens and noble landscapes. They include some of the most splendid examples of English art and architecture, from awe-inspiring medieval stone to the beauties of the English Renaissance, the classical grandeur of the eighteenth century and the highest excesses of the High Victorian taste; illustrating the work of Inigo Jones, Sir John Vanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Thomas Chippendale, William Kent, Robert Adam, and Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

More Details

Size: 12.75 x 10.5 in;
Pages: 424 pp;
Format: Hardcover
Publication: September 2014
ISBN: 9781780672328
Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd began writing about country houses and their owners in the 1960s. The editor of an index covering some 10,000 houses in the British Isles, he was a prolific writer of books and magazine articles. He died in 2007.

Christopher Simon Sykes specializes in photographing architecture and interiors. With several books to his name, his photographs have also appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, House and Garden, and The World of Interiors. The Big House, a biography of Sledmere, his family’s house in Yorkshire, was published in 2013.

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