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Looking Inside 'The English Country House'

The new book by James Peill takes a look inside this quintessential British institution.

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The English Country House

The English Country House

Photo By John Aquino

Everybody loves an English country house, and now there’s a new book called “The English Country House” by James Peill from The Vendome Press, with a foreword by Julian Fellowes and photographs by James Fennell.

The book takes a look inside this quintessential British institution, with parlors furnished with chintz and multiple paintings of ancestors, bookcases and breakfronts filled with old treasures and rolling lawns with grazing sheep. There are private chapels and gardens detailed with boxwood. Enormous Chinese porcelain vases and elaborate clocks stand at attention. A beautiful silver fox-hunting trophy depicts a man with a horse and hounds, while paintings also show much-loved hunting dogs and great iron gates, moats and turrets guard the estates.

Each house is still in the hands of its original family, passed down to descendants for sometimes as long as 1,000 years. The names are evocative, too: Kentchurch Court, Prideaux Place, Milton, Badminton, Goodwood House, Euston Hall, Madresfield Court and Hackthorn Hall. Locations range from Hertfordshire to Cornwall. Some are great estates; others are more modest. Some are open to the public, others not, and some have never been photographed for a book before.