country house – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

Blog

A Look at the Fascinating History of Highclere Castle – Setting of Downton Abbey

The main filming location for hit series and brand new film Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle in Hampshire, holds a fascinating history, as well as its more contemporary cinematic claim to fame. The Sphere | 14 April 1923 Using articles found in the British Newspaper Archive, in this blog we explore Highclere Castle – from its building to its famous inhabitants – and discover a history with as much drama as an episode of Downton Abbey. Architectural Origins Downton Abbey’s iconic exterior,

Continue Reading

Tags

, ,

Requisitioning of Country Houses in the Second World War – Hospitals, War Supply Depots and More

During the Second World War the government requisitioned country houses across the United Kingdom for the war effort. No house was exempt, with the grandest stately homes re-purposed to house everything from schools to maternity homes, from military hospitals to war supply depots. Using photographs and contemporary articles found in the British Newspaper Archive, we will look at the myriad of purposes for which stately homes were used during the six year conflict. Many houses were taken over to be

Continue Reading

Tags

, ,

Requisitioning of Country Houses in the Second World War – Evacuated Schools in Wartime

Eighty years since the first children were evacuated from cities across Britain, in this first of two special blogs, we look at how country houses were requisitioned by schools and their evacuated children. The grandest of stately homes were not exempt from requisition, with some of the country’s largest and most famous houses, including Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth and Castle Howard, taken over for the purpose of housing evacuated schools. Using contemporary accounts in the British Newspaper Archive, we will delve

Continue Reading

Tags

, ,

Necessity versus Nostalgia – The Destruction of the Country House

Held in 1974 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Destruction of the Country House exhibition highlighted how stately homes across the British Isles had been demolished throughout the course of the twentieth century, in what some called a ‘cultural tragedy.’ In this special blog, we will explore how the British Newspaper Archive can shed more light upon this curious phenomenon, which saw approximately one country house being demolished every five days in 1955. Illustrated London News | 1 November 1974

Continue Reading

Tags

,