Over 400 colour photographs; Over 100 artworks.
An unrivalled account of Britain?s architectural and historical heritage with over 500 beautiful photographs, map and plans *A stunning visual history with special features on over 120 of the most important and best-loved residences of the monarchy and aristocracy *Includes all the great historic castles of the British Isles, from Caernarfon and Eilean Donan to Warwick and Windsor, and the most significant stately houses and royal palaces such as the fortress of Edinburgh castle, the gardens and courtyards of Hampton Court, and Buckingham Palace.
This sumptuously illustrated history is the most authoritative account of the castles, royal residences and historic houses of Britain and Ireland ever published for the general reader. It combines an in-depth guide to the most important buildings with a wealth of entertaining stories and intriguing facts about Britain?s glorious architectural past and heritage. Discover the truth about Edward II?s imprisonment in Berkeley Castle; the glories of Elizabeth I?s summer progress around the country from Burghley to Longleat; the extravagance of George IV?s grand designs at Brighton and Windsor; and the royal residences, including Balmoral and Osborne House, built by Victoria and Albert. More than 500 photographs and specially commissioned maps, plans and drawings bring the past vividly to life, demonstrating Britain?s unequalled legacy of historic buildings and national treasures. Fact boxes focus on developments in architecture and on the great architects from Edward I's castle-builder Master James of St Georges to Wren, Adam, Wyatt and Lutyens. Location maps and an A-Z gazetteer make it easy to find and visit every property mentioned.
William the Conqueror founded great royal strongholds at the Tower of London and Windsor that have endured to this day as embodiments of royal tradition. From the great castles of Wales constructed by Edward I to the forts built by Henry VIII to defend England?s South Coast, castles summon a stirring vision of the past evoking the ?age of chivalry?. Even today, throughout Britain, towers, turrets and castles are scattered across the landscape.
In the 16th century James IV and James V of Scots created Holyrood Palace, Falkland Palace and Stirling Castle. Their Tudor contemporaries in England, Henry VII and Henry VIII, were equally lavish, building over 40 palaces and houses at Richmond, Hampton Court and elsewhere.
As well as the buildings themselves, aristocratic houses served as magnets for the greatest artists and sculptors of the age at Castle Howard, Holkham Hall, Stowe House, Alnwick Castle, Castell Coch to name but a few. Buildings designed by architects such as Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor and Colen Campbell, standd in gardens and parklands designed by William Kent and ?Capability? Brown, marking the high point of the British country house. George IV and Queen Victoria, at Windsor, Brighton, and Buckingham Palace, also brought royal buildings to the forefront of contemporary architecture.
In more recent times, many houses have passed from private hands into those of the National Trust and of English Heritage and other government organizations to find a new status as widely cherished repositories of British achievement in art and architecture. Today Britain?s historic houses have become part of a shared national heritage.
Stunningly illustrated, this expert and authoritative reference book will absorb, entertain and fascinate every reader interested in discovering more about the historic buildings of an ancient realm.