The collaborative effort of writer and British country estates expert Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and architectural photographer Christopher Simon Sykes, Manor Houses Of England is a stunningly visual and informatively descriptive showcase of great and historic works of British country manor house architecture. Manor Houses Of England is illustrated throughout with full-color photographs on almost every two-page spread and filled from cover to cover with fascinating and descriptive information and insights about the history, construction, use, and present-day status of each these majestic buildings depicted. Very highly recommended for armchair travelers and architecture buffs, Manor Houses Of England is the next best thing to taking a personally guided, on-site tour of these awe-inspiring buildings.
Anglophiles have cause to rejoice with the publication of this rich tribute to England's stately homes. Over 300 color illustrations present both exteriors and interiors in their somewhat faded but nonetheless unparalleled glory.
For many of us the term "manor house" needs some explanation. "A 'manor' is a specific English territorial unit, originally of the nature of a feudal lordship. But a "manor house," while traditionally the seat of the lord of the manor, has come to be regarded as a romantic synonym for a small country house, particularly of the late-medieval Tudor and Stuart periods."
Forty houses were selected from more than 300 possibilities to be presented in this spectacular volume. Each is a rarity not only in appearance but in essence. Steeped in history, each evokes in the viewer visions of chivalry, romance, and mystery.
Presented in chronological order the homes trace the development of England's architecture from the early days of monasticism to the Victorian era. All are currently habitable.
We find that medieval manor houses, minimally, had a Great Hall with several wings crossing it for bedrooms and storage areas. Largely unfortified, these manor houses depended upon moats and gatehouses for safety.
The dawn of the Tudor age brought the Renaissance style to England with homes, as today, built primarily for show. The 18th century saw great Palladian house which later underwent extensive renovation.
"Manor Houses Of England" is a keepsake volume with spectacular photographs accompanied by a fascinating text that includes stories of the families who built these houses.
- Gail Cooke