John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

Bedrooms, Banquets and Balls

This off-beat and amusing look at the development of the English Country House takes as its starting point the medieval Hall-House and follows architectural tastes and fashions to the mid twentieth century. It looks at the architecture of the houses, their furnishings and the way in which the rooms were used in different periods.

We also hear about the people who lived in these buildings – many of them eccentric and memorable – and discover the ways in which their whims fashioned the houses we see today. We will hear about exploding cakes, tight mistresses and exotic princes.

Some of the houses included in the lecture are open to the public, but several private homes offer a different vision.

John Vigar was personally encouraged early in his career by John Betjeman and is a Trustee of a national charity of which Betjeman was a founder. He is an architectural historian by profession. He also lectures for several universities and colleges and until his retirement worked for The Churches Conservation Trust.

He lectures extensively across Europe, and leads specialist tours in Britain, including some to private houses that are not open to the public.

Suggested reading:

The English Country House by Olive Cook

England Thousand Best Houses by Sir Simon Jenkins

The Country House remembered by Merlin Waterson

An inspector recalls by Derek Sherborn

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