English Country Houses

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Modern usage of the term “stately home” usually means English country houses that are open to visitors, for at least some of the time. Most of these stately homes are mansions set in the English countryside, complete with gardens and parkland; their estates include farms and sometimes whole villages. Many were the residence of the landed gentry who ruled rural Britain up to the early 19th century. Some stately homes were built as a statement, dominating the landscape such as at Kedleston Hall, others were designed to harmonize. There are a wide range of country houses to see, with fine interiors and interesting histories.

BHH Tours can very easily take you to the stately homes of Haddon Hall, Hardwick Hall, Kedleston Hall, Chatsworth House and Caulke Abbey. Of these, Chatsworth House is the best and most visited, it is stunning, set in acres of landscaped estate. The herds of deer and sheep graze the green slopes leading down to the Derwent River that meanders in front of the house, and all are surrounded by the rolling wooded Derbyshire hills. If the sun is shining, the gold window frames of the house and the gilded statuary glisten.

Many of the stately homes have remained unchanged for years and are consequently popular as film sets. Chatsworth House has been used for the filming of Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, and The Wolfman, where the house was depicted as Talbot Hall.

Hardwick Hall is one of the most significant Elizabethan country houses in England and it was designed in the late 16th Century for the Countess of Shrewsbury known as Bess of Hardwick, the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I. This Hall was used as the film set for Malfoy Manner in the Harry Potter film series.

Haddon Hall is a medieval manor house and it has been described as “the most complete and most interesting house of its period. The origins of the hall date to the 11th century and it was used to portray Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. The Tudor interior was also an ideal setting for the film The Other Boleyn Girl.

Explore the links below to discover other Stately Homes that Visit England Tours can arrange for you to see.

Please note that all English Country houses have their own opening times and some are not open all year round.
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