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Brympton d'Evercy, Yeovil, Somerset. Brympton d'Evercy evolved from the Medieval period; its provincial architects are long forgotten. Yet, Christopher Hussey described it as "The most incomparable house in Britain, the one which created the greatest impression and summarises so exquisitely English country life qualities

Real Tudor English Country House, dating back to the 12th century. Haddon Hall, Derbyshire

As a result of the aristocratic habit of only marrying within the aristocracy, and whenever possible to a sole heiress, many owners of country houses owned several country mansions, and would visit each according to the season: Grouse shooting in Scotland, pheasant shooting and fox hunting in England. For many, this way of life, which began a steady decline in 1914, continued well into the 20th century, and for a very few continues to this day.

No preservation society or historical group raised an objection to the demolition of Robert Adam's Bowood House, Calne, Wilts; and the demolition went ahead unchallenged in 1956. Only the orangery wings – to the left of the photograph – remain, and they are today Grade I listed.

Matthew Beckett’s site, The Country Seat (countryhouses.wor...), and its sister site (www.lostheritage....), listing all the great English Country Houses which are no longer with us; most victims of war, requisition, decay, decline, 80% death duties, lost fortunes – wine, women, song and the gambling table, asset strippers and developers. This all took place before listed building status obliged owners to ‘preserve’ properties with notable historic or architectural status.

Roses in Magdalen College by Poppins' Garden, via Flickr

Bowood House, Wiltshire. Home of the Marquesses of Lansdowne. The main house seen on the right of the photo no longer remains, although the part of the left which opens on to the terrace still survives.

Pitchcombe House, Gloucestershire. Grade II* listed. Large country house built c.1740 for Thomas Palling.