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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.

Balls Park, Hertford, Herts. Grade I Listed mid-17th-century house. Set in over 63 acres of parkland which is Grade II Listed and features on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. The estate and house are believed to have been the inspiration for some of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice.

Tyntesfield - In the 1830s a Georgian mansion was built on the site, and this was bought by English businessman William Gibbs. In the 1860s, Gibbs had the house significantly expanded and remodelled; later, a chapel being added in the 1870s. The Gibbs family owned the house until the death of Richard Gibbs in 2001.

Roses in Magdalen College by Poppins' Garden, via Flickr

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.

Forde Abbey. Many country houses have evolved and been extended over several centuries. Here, the architecture runs from Medieval ecclesiastical to Palladian and on to Strawberry Hill Gothic, while at sometime an attempt at unity has been made by the use of crenelation.


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