Of all the photographs in “Country Life” magazines extensive archive, none are more poignant or intriguing than the images of houses that have been lost. In many cases, these pictures are also the only surviving records of important houses and interiors that were destroyed. For the first time, these images have been collected in one volume, providing a powerful impression of the richness and variety of the English country house and of the treasures that were lost through demolition or fire during the 20th century. The range of buildings is surprisingly wide–from the Rococo Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire, and the Classical serenity of Stoke Edith, Herefordshire to the richly furnished interiors of Highcliffe Castle, Hampshire, and one of the great masterpieces of 17th-century architecture: Coleshill, Berkshire. Giles Worsleys illuminating text places the demolition of country houses in its historical context, revealing why so many were destroyed in the last century.
Giles Worsley has contributed to Englands Lost Houses: From the Archives of Country Life as an author.Giles Worsley is senior research fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and architecture critic for the Daily Telegraph. His previous books include “Classical Architecture in Britain: The Heroic Age,” published by Yale University Press. William Curtis Rolf is creative director of Gallo Wines in California and a distinguished photographer with a long-standing interest in stables.