What is a country house? The classical revival, Palladianism, and landscape gardens in England.
English Country Houses
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
The country house as a style of building rose up in the relative peace and prosperity of the Tudor age. There was no longer a pressing need for defense in domestic buildings, so the aristocracy began lavishing their money on houses designed to impress.
The predominant style of the early 18th century was Palladian, based on the classical designs of Andreas Palladio, and fostered by Lord Burlington among others.
Generally, they were situated on rising ground, with gardens stretching up to the "back door" from parkland below. They were classical in style, with a large central portico and strong vertical lines on the exterior. It was in the interior that these country houses really shone, however. Furnishings were ornate and designed to impress. Generally, a large entry hall led on to living rooms meant for show. Bedrooms and dressing rooms were upstairs, while the kitchen and the servants quarters were relegated to the basement. It was terribly inconvenient, but it was magnificent! Among the best examples of these Palladian country houses include; Holkham Hall (Norfolk), Clandon Park (Surrey), and Nostell Priory (Yorkshire).
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