Stately Homes
House building flourished during the prosperous and more settled age of the Tudors. Not only new properties, but deserted abbeys and tired old castles were reconstructed and converted to grand residences. They became a visual statement of the wealth, power and social standing of the occupants, and provided a competitive arena for entertaining the royalty of the day. Distinguished architects, such as Adam, Barry, Lutyens, and Vanbrugh, accumulated enviable portfolios while innovative designs were used to show appreciation of evolving trends. Attention to detail and craftsmanship became as important as the art collections and fine furniture displayed in the house.

Between mid 16th and the early part of the 20th century, some 500 'stately homes' were created but, with the sudden change in fortunes after the World Wars, very few of these survived as ancestral homes. Today a curious mix of part-ruined houses, living museums, and grand family estates provide an insight into those past opulent times. Elizabethan, Georgian, Palladian and Victorian homes are all well represented, many retaining their traditional landscaped parks or spectacular gardens, originally created by Capability Brown or Humphrey Repton.

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Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
Featured Stately Home...
Waddesdon Manor
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