Jeremy Musson is architectural editor of Country Life and a leading historian of the country house. He is presenter of the television series The Curious House Guest, broadcast on BBC2 in 2005. He lives in Cambridge with his family and is the author of The English Manor House (Aurum 1999).
A personal tour of twenty of the UK's most beguiling houses in this much loved area of western England. Author and architectural historian, Jeremy Musson, and Cotswolds-based photographer Hugo Rittson Thomas, offer privileged access to twenty houses, from castles and manor houses, as well as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mansions, revealing their history, architecture and interiors, in the company of their devoted owners. In the footsteps of artists and designers including Humphry and George Repton, and Victorian visionary, William Morris, who inspired the arts and crafts movement, and others such as Detmar Blow, Norman Jewson, Clough Williams-Ellis and Oliver Hill, we find a series of fascinating country houses of different sizes and atmospheres, which have shaped the English identity. Each house has their own story, but their distinctive honey-coloured stone walls, set amongst rolling hills, in different ways express the ideals of English life. Most of the houses included here are privately owned and not usually open to the public. In this beautifully produced book, they can now be enjoyed through the eyes of their owners, as well as an experienced architectural historian, and an award-winning photographer.
Founded in 1584 on the site of a medieval Dominican priory, Emmanuel has a remarkable history as one of the constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge, but is also a significant ensemble of buildings and gardens. The late seventeenth-century Chapel, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, stands at Emmanuel's core and has become one of the iconic images of Cambridge. Over the centuries, the original structures and the open spaces have been altered and added to, shaped by Fellows and Masters, donors and dons. In turn, these buildings and gardens have helped shape the identity, spirit and reputation of the College and of generations of students. Illustrated with stunning new photography by leading architectural photographer Will Pryce, this book is a journey that takes the reader to the heart of the historic, social and aesthetic character of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
This beautifully produced book celebrates the work of Robert Adam, the great eighteenth-century architect who influenced generations by stamping his distinctive neoclassical aesthetic vision on the English country house interior. Lavish new photography provides a deeply visual exploration of Adam s most important surviving country houses, to which the author and photographer gained unparalleled access. Included are magnificent country houses such as Syon House and Harewood House styled and inspired by the ideal of the neoclassical as well as Adam s castle-style Mellerstain and town houses such as Home House all captured in splendid detail. Original Adam design drawings, from Sir John Soane s Museum, illustrate the boldness of planning, color, and creative interpretation of Adam s domestic interiors. A biographical and contextual account of Adam s life and work describes his unique design process, his patrons, and the legacy of his design achievement. This richly illustrated volume will appeal to designers and homeowners as well as traditional architecture enthusiasts, promising to become an important addition to any architecture and interior design library.
A highly detailed look at the most accomplished English country house interiors, exemplifying English decorating at its best. The English drawing room, a formal place within a house of status where family and honoured guests could retire from the more public arena, is one of the most important rooms in an English country house, and thus great attention has been paid to preserving the decoration of this most elegant of spaces: the center of life in the English countryside and the epitome of English country house decoration. This book offers privileged access to fifty of the finest drawing rooms of country houses and historic townhouses-many still in private hands-including Althorp, Attingham, and Knepp Castle. Through these sumptuous rooms, readers experience a history of English decorating from the sixteenth century to the present day, including the work of design legends such as David Hicks, Nancy Lancaster, John Fowler, and David Mlinaric. Specially commissioned photographs capture the entirety of each room, as well as details of furniture, architectural elements, artwork, collections, and textiles, creating a visually seductive book that will inspire interior designers and homeowners interested in the widely popular classic English look.
Country houses were reliant on an intricate hierarchy of servants, each of whom provided an essential skill. Up and Down Stairs brings to life this hierarchy and shows how large numbers of people lived together under strict segregation and how sometimes this segregation was broken, as with the famous marriage of a squire to his dairymaid at Uppark. Jeremy Musson captures the voices of the servants who ran these vast houses, and made them work. From unpublished memoirs to letters, wages, newspaper articles, he pieces together their daily lives from the Middle Ages through to the twentieth century. The story of domestic servants is inseparable from the story of the country house as an icon of power, civilisation and luxury. This is particularly true with the great estates such as Chatsworth, Hatfield, Burghley and Wilton. Jeremy Musson looks at how these grand houses were, for centuries, admired and imitated around the world.
Why was heraldry so important to the families for whom houses were built? How does the layout of a house reveal the values of the people who lived in it? By reading the architectural features of a house - even simple items such as windows, doors, chimneys and staircases - we can learn so much about the past. Interiors, as well as exteriors, have a story to tell, with floor layouts and contents of rooms revealing much about the people who built and lived in them. We can also read the iconography of a house: its symbols and images, spanning subjects such as classical mythology, religion and British history. Heraldry too is an essential tool for understanding much of the details found in country houses, from coats of arms to crests, or fireplace decorations and ceiling bosses. Through all this, we gain a glimpse into the social world of the families who lived there - and discover that the stories of many country houses are inextricably linked by marriage, royalty or political or military service. Richly illustrated with stunning photographs from the unique archive of Country Life magazine, this book is a joy for all those who want to learn more about our heritage, art and architecture, and the essential characteristics of a classic country house.