- Stately home
A stately home is, strictly speaking, one of about 500 large properties built in
Englandbetween the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, as well as converted abbeys and other church property (after the Dissolution of the Monasteries). They are usually distinguished from true "castles", being of a later date and built purely as residences. These houses became a status symbolfor the great families of England who competed with each other to provide hospitality for members of the Royal Household. Famous architects and landscape architects such as Robert Adam, Sir Charles Barry, Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir John Vanbrugh, Capability Brownand Humphry Reptonwere employed to incorporate new styles into the buildings. Great art and furniture collections were built up and displayed in the houses. The agricultural collapse towards the end of the nineteenth century, the First World Warand then World War IIchanged the fortunes of many houses and their owners, and now there remains a curious mix of living museums, part-ruined houses and castles, and grand family estates.
The following organisations are responsible for the upkeep of numerous stately homes.
Treasure Houses of England
The Landmark Trust
However, many stately homes are owned/managed by private individuals or by trusts. The costs of running a stately home are legendarily high. Many owners rent out their homes for use as film and television sets as a means of extra income, thus many of them are familiar sights to people who have never visited them in person. The grounds often contain other tourist attractions, such as safari parks, funfairs or museums.
The term stately home is a quotation from the poem "The Homes of England" originally published in "
Blackwood's Magazine" in 1827by Felicia Hemans, which begins as follows.
:The stately Homes of England, :How beautiful they stand, :Amidst their tall ancestral trees, :O’er all the pleasant land!
Noel Cowardwrote and performed a parodyof the above:
:The stately homes of England, :How beautiful they stand,:To prove the upper classes:Have still the upper hand.
In the later, Las Vegas phase of his career Coward revised his lyrics:
:The stately homes of England we proudly represent,:We only keep them up for Americans to rent....
Few owners use this phrase; they are more likely to call the properties "country houses." "Stately homes" is a
real estatedealers' phrase, used by outsiders such as Robin Leachin " Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and parodists such as Dame Edna Everage.
List of historic houses in England
List of historic houses
Treasure Houses of England
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Look at other dictionaries:
stately home — stately homes N COUNT A stately home is a very large old house, especially one that people can pay to visit. [mainly BRIT] … English dictionary
stately home — n BrE a large house in the countryside in Britain which has historical interest, especially one open to the public … Dictionary of contemporary English
stately home — noun count a large house in the U.K. that has an interesting history and belongs, or used to belong, to an important family … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
stately home — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ a large and fine house occupied or formerly occupied by an aristocratic family … English terms dictionary
stately home — noun a mansion that is (or formerly was) occupied by an aristocratic family • Regions: ↑United Kingdom, ↑UK, ↑U.K., ↑Britain, ↑United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ↑Great Britain • Hypernyms: ↑ … Useful english dictionary
stately home — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms stately home : singular stately home plural stately homes a large house in the UK that has an interesting history and belongs, or used to belong, to an important family … English dictionary
stately home — Brit. a country mansion, usually of architectural interest and often open to the public. * * * … Universalium
stately home — noun Brit. a large and fine house occupied or formerly occupied by an aristocratic family … English new terms dictionary
stately home — noun (C) a large house in the countryside in Britain which has historical interest … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
ˌstately ˈhome — noun [C] a large house in the UK that belongs to an important family … Dictionary for writing and speaking English