Homes

Ten of Britain’s Best Stately Homes

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This collection of stately homes demonstrates the richness of our heritage in England and Wales. It includes properties depicting life in medieval times, those that celebrate the opulence of the upper classes, and others that applaud the style and eco-credentials of our predecessors. Chatsworth House 1 Set in the glorious Derbyshire Peak District, Chatsworth House is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has remained in the Cavendish family for sixteen generations. The house boasts 30 public rooms, including state rooms, galleries and its magnificent Painted Hall, and houses one of the most significant art collections in Europe, from Old Masters and ancient Egyptian artefacts to modern sculptures and computer portraits. Great Chalfield Manor 2 This 15th century manor house in Wiltshire is set in romantic arts and craft gardens complete with moats. The rooftop is adorned with soldiers, griffons and monkeys, and inside visitors will experience the medieval Great Hall, wood panelled dining room and the Solar, with its beautiful oriel window. The rooms house oak furniture and Flemish tapestries. Polesden Lacey 3 Polesden Lacey, in Surrey, is an Edwardian country estate surrounded by parkland. The house was remodelled, In Regency style, in 1906 by former owner, Mrs Greville, who was famous for entertaining royalty and celebrities. Her collection of paintings, furniture, porcelain and silver is on display in the reception rooms and galleries. Osborne House 4 Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, was home to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children. Visitors can view the Royal Apartments, including luxurious drawing and dining rooms, as well as the exotic Indian-styled Durbar Room. The children’s nursery and the private beach where the children learnt to swim can also be visited. The Vyne   This 16th century country house in Hampshire was originally built for Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain. It has a Tudor chapel, a 17th century portico and a magnificent Palladian staircase. Among its artefacts are an inscribed Roman ring and lead tablet which are thought to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Waddesdon Manor 5 This impressive Buckinghamshire country manor was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the Renaissance style of a French chateau in the late 19th century. Set in a formal park, the manor houses a superb collection of French furniture and 18th century art, including portraits and Dutch Old Masters. Cragside 6 Originally built in 1862 as a two-storey lodge, Cragside, in Northumberland was later extended into an elaborate Tudor mansion. It was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. In 1870, water from a lake on the estate was used to power an arc lamp, and in 1880, this was replaced by a series of incandescent lamps. Blickling Hall 7 This memorable estate in Norfolk was built during in 17th century from the ruins of the former Hall which had been in the Boleyn family, and may have witnessed the birth of Anne Boleyn. The library at Blickling is particularly important, housing significant collections of manuscripts and books, including the Blickling Homilies. Lyme Park 8 This large National Trust estate in Cheshire includes a mansion house set in formal gardens with deer park. The estate dates back to the 14th century, the house itself being added in the late 16th century. Some Elizabethan features, such as the courtyard, remain, though later additions are in the Palladian and Baroque styles. Tredegar House 9 This 17th century country house in Monmouthshire is an outstanding example of the Restoration period. Owned for four centuries by the Morgan family, the house displays the family’s colourful history, with ancestral portraits, grand state rooms and Grade 1 listed stables. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Whatever our preference for architecture and artistic style, each one of the stately homes included in this collection is iconic and deserves to be valued as a national treasure. About the author: This article was written by Jamie P – a lifestyle and interiors blogger who’s a big fan of everything from classic styled fabric sofas to the most modern interiors looks.

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