An English Country House

A typical English country house is a large house or manor in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a house in town, or town house. The country manor allowed the fortunate few, precious time to spend in the country and in the city; hence, for this group of wealth-gifted gentry, the term distinguished between town and country. However, the term country house, also encompasses houses that were, and often still are, the full-time residence for the landed gentry. Frequently, the formal business of the counties was transacted in these country houses.

The English country house demanded large numbers of indoor and outdoor staff; country houses were important during that period, as places of employment for many rural communities. In turn, the estates of which country houses were the hub, thus provided their owners with incomes. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the traditional English country house lifestyle had seen its day. Increased taxation and the effects of World War I led to the demolition of hundreds of country homes; those that remained had to adapt to survive. Today, dotted amongst the country landscape, many of these exquisite country homes are now are open for public tours, as well as offer bed & breakfast accommodations.

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