The Country House in History

Module code: HA7010

Module Overview

The evolution and function of the country house from the medieval development of the castle and courtyard house and the conversion of former monasteries, to the present day is the focus of this core module. It will deal with the country house both as a functional institution within the rural landscape and as a monument of power: political, cultural and economic. By the end of the nineteenth century, the English landscape was studded with country houses which functioned as local power bases for noble and gentry families. This module will discuss the place of the country house in its locality and how it projected its owners’ power and culture in its architectural and garden setting and in its contents.


  • 20 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of fieldwork
  • 272 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay one, 2,500 words (50%)
  • Essay two, 2,500 words (50%)