Lost Country Houses of England

The Lost Heritage website is a memorial to the lost country houses of England and is the dedicated work of one man, who’s fascination with these great buildings has brought them to our attention.

Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire

It has been said that Britain’s greatest contribution to the history of architecture is that of our country houses. Millions of people every year visit the stately homes that either through good fortune, wise management, the National Trust or sheer good luck managed to avoid demolition.

Hopefully by highlighting those we have already lost, we will appreciate more those that remain, and fight harder to save those under threat.

As a nation we are now proud of these monuments to our past. However, many didn’t survive. Whilst some houses are inevitably lost to urban development and fire, in a previous, less conservation-minded age, the greatest danger was that there were few limits as to what the owners did with their properties.

Houses which had been passed down through many years, and the associated family collections, could be lost within a generation.

The site lists over 1700 of the many significant English country houses which have been demolished or severely reduced. Though it mainly focuses on those lost since 1800, houses which were lost before then may also appear in the list.

A majority of those listed would now be classified as Grade I, Grade II* or II – but others have been also included where they were likely to be of importance within a local area. These houses range in style from the smaller manor houses to the Classical mansions to the vast Victorian Gothic palaces.

The aim is to list and provide an ‘architectural biography’ comprising a full history including who built the house, when and why it was demolished and to have an image of the house – be it a photo or a print.

The list also uses the county names and geographical boundaries from before the 1972 local government re-organisation which removed or significantly altered many of the historic counties.

Much of the research and documentation relating to the houses naturally refers to the pre-1972 boundaries, locations and names.

If you have any information or images which you feel would be useful for this important database, then contact Matt at lostheritage.org

Visit the Lost Heritage website

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