- Great house
:"For the architecture of great houses, see
Mansion. For the great house masonry pueblos, see Chaco Culture National Historical Park".
A great house is a large and stately residence; the term encompasses different styles of dwelling in different countries. The name refers to the makeup of the
householdrather than to any particular architectural style. It particularly refers to large households of times past in Anglophone countries (especially those of the turn of the 20th Century, i. e. the late Victorian or Edwardianages in the United Kingdomand the Gilded Agein the United States), such as the English country house, the "stately homes of England" and the homes of various "millionaires' row" (or " millionaires' mile") in some U.S. cities such as Newport, Rhode Islandwith luxurious appointments and great retinues of indoor and outdoor staff. By some reports, the summer homes of the wealthy at Newport averaged four servants per family member. There was often an elaborate hierarchy among staff, domestic workers in particular. In Ireland, the term big house is usual for the houses of the Anglo-Irishascendancy. 
It was considered declassé to refer to one's own
townhouses, estates or villas (or those of friends) as mansions and modern etiquette books still advise that the terms house, big house or great house be used instead.
As in the past, today's great houses are limited to
heads of state, the very rich, or those who have inherited them; few in the developed world are staffed at the level of past centuries. The International Guild of Butlersestimates that the annual salaries of a 20-25 person household staff total in excess of US$1,000,000.
In countries with supplies of cheap domestic labour, the
middle classes are still able to afford household help, but not approaching the numbers involved in the running of a great house.
On large estates or in families with more than one residence, there may be a steward (or the modern equivalent, an estate manager) who oversees direction of the entire establishment. Today, it is not uncommon for a couple to split the duties of management between them.
Practices vary depending on the size of the household and the preference of the employers, but in general the staff is divided into departments run by the:
Between maids (also called Hall girl particularly in the US)
still room maids
Useful Manalso called "houseman"
Estate Managermay have charge of the maintenance and care of the grounds, landscaping, and outbuildings (pool, cabana, stables, greenhouse etc.) which is divided into departments run by the:
Depictions of great houses
The complex hierarchy of a staff in a great house has been portrayed in several notable productions for
filmand television. Among these are:
Backstairs at the White House (miniseries)"
The Edwardian Country House"
The Remains of the Day (film)"
Servants (BBC television series)"
Sense and Sensibility (film)"
You Rang, M'Lord?"
Notable great houses
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Look at other dictionaries:
great house — noun Date: 1633 the main house of an estate or plantation … New Collegiate Dictionary
great house — noun chiefly Brit & South : the main house of an estate or plantation … Useful english dictionary
Great House — The hall of the Master of Lake town, in which Thorin and Company were welcomed by the people of Lake town, but which was later destroyed by Smaug when he descended on that township … J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary
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