is just a tiny selection of some of our grand and beautiful British
Stately Homes, which is a testament to the talent, skills and
craftsmanship of those who built them.
phrase stately home is a quotation from the poem The Homes of
England, which was originally published in Blackwood's Magazine in
1827. The poem is by Felicia Hemans, and it begins as follows:
The stately Homes of England,
beautiful they stand,
their tall ancestral trees,
all the pleasant land !
Britain has a great selection of stately homes. They are in form and
substance palaces by another name. They were the settings where
affairs of state and party political matters were discussed
informally. Stately homes required a lot of staff, and were
extremely useful in providing employment for the local community.
Most of the homes were built with great attention to detail and
craftsmanship. Famous architects and landscape architects such as
Robert Adam, Sir Charles Barry, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir John Vanbrugh,
Capability Brown and Humphry Repton were employed to incorporate new
styles into the buildings. Great art and furniture collections were
built up and displayed in the houses. The art collections and
furnishing are exquisite priceless treasures. Not only are the walls
covered with magnificent art and paintings, but also with expensive
tapestry. Over 500 stately homes alone were built between the mid
16th century and the 20th century, and have survived two world wars
and still remain standing today.
stately homes are open to visitors, thus giving the public a chance
to admire the ancient decorations, and experience first-hand the
designs of an earlier era. The landscapes alone are breathtaking
with gardens and parks that just beg to be admired. Many of
Britain’s stately homes and surrounding countryside are used as
movie locations in films and TV. All in all, there are over 600
castles, stately homes, and gardens across Britain.
agricultural collapse towards the end of the 19th century, the First
World War and then World War II changed the fortunes of many houses
and their owners, and now they remain as a curious mix of living
museums, part-ruined houses and castles and grand family estates.
The introduction of inheritance tax caused many owners to relinquish
ownership to the National Trust, being no longer able to afford
several stately homes are still owned and managed by private
individuals who are descendants of their original owners, or by
family trusts. The costs of running a stately home are naturally
extremely high. Many owners let their properties for use as film and
television sets as a means of gaining extra income, thus many of
them are familiar sights to people who have never visited them in
person. The grounds often contain other tourist attractions, such as
safari parks, funfairs or museums.