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Stately Homes

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Stately Homes

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Stately Homes

The 500-odd properties classified as English stately homes get their name from a poem by Felicia Hemans published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1827: "The stately Homes of England,/ How beautiful they stand,/ Amidst their tall ancestral trees,/ O’er all the pleasant land!" This was slickly parodied in 1937 by Sir Noel Coward: "The stately homes of England,/ How beautiful they stand,/ To prove the upper classes/ Have still the upper hand".

The official definition of an English stately home is one built between the mid-16th and the early 20th century, including church properties built after the Dissolution. The houses were built for England’s prominent familes by the most eminent architects, including Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir John Vanbrugh and Capability Brown. For economic reasons, many buildings are now open to the public and owned or run by trusts, such as English Heritage and the National Trust.

To read about Chatsworth House, click here. 


Your comments

The UK is probably the only country in the world that has such a fine collection of historic homes that are open to the public, and to many foreigners they represent the essence of Englishness.

David Stephen

They are the principles of English architecture the very backbone of the great houses of England which took their styles to many parts of the world.
Chris Jeffery Van Ackland

Everyone's ideal of real England. The pinnacle of a property ladder we would also wish to climb
Jonathan Munday

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye