This field is used to search for houses by the first name
of an architect. If you enter "James" in this field, you will
retrieve all the houses where an architect with the first name of James
worked on the house (over 100 records). If you are looking for
James Wyatt, type "James" in this field, and "Wyatt" in the Architect Last Name field.
Please note that architects are sometimes associated with houses in which
they may have not designed the house, i.e., they designed follies,
stables, gates, gardens, or additions to the house.
Architect Last Name
This field is used to search for houses by the first last
of an architect. For instance, if you enter "Wyatt" in
this field, you will retrieve all the houses where an architect with the
last name of Wyatt (of which there were many) worked on the house. If you are
specifically looking for James Wyatt, type "Wyatt" in this
field, and "James" in the Architect First Name field.
Please note that architects are associated with houses in which they may
have not designed the house, e.g., they designed the follies, stables,
gates, gardens, or additions to the house.
Artists in Collection
This field allows a search for art objects produced by a
particular artist or maker that are currently or were previously in the
collection of a house. Thus, you can search for "Gainsborough" or
"Wedgwood" and the search engine will return houses were pieces by these
artists were, or are,
in the collection of the house.
This search field allows you to find houses where we
have cited the books of specific authors in our research. Author names
should be entered with last name first, followed by a comma and the first
name, e.g., Harris, John. If you enter "Harris, John" the search
engine will retrieve over 180 houses where we have cited books written by
Bibliography Book Title
This field allows you to search for houses where we
have used the title of a specific book for research, citing it as a
bibliographic reference. You can also use more general terms, such as
one word of a book title, e.g., if you enter "Georgian" in the search field
the search engine will retrieve over 100 houses where that word appears in
the title of a book that we have cited in our research.
The Circa Date field is used when a specific date,
either a start or completion date, is unavailable or unknown.
Instead an approximate date, usually covering a very broad period, is
used. This field can be searched by both specific dates expressed in
numbers, and by terms that describe a period of time, e.g., you can search
for houses that were built about 1800 and you'll retrieve approximately
three records. You can also search by terms such as Edwardian,
Victorian, Georgian, William and Mary, Jacobean, Elizabethan, Tudor, 20th
century, 19th century, 18th century, 17th century, and 16th century, all
of which will return records. The Circa Date field is
specifically strongest in word dates (Tudor), rather than dates expressed
as numbers (1800).
Building a house could often take many years, even decades
in some cases. This is the field to search for a house if you know
the date in which construction ended. This field is very specific;
broad searches are not possible; e.g., if you enter 1870 in the field you
will retrieve the records for houses in which building was completed
exactly in the year 1870.
Please note that many, many houses had additions, partial demolitions, and
renovations over the years. The completion date here refers only to
the date in which the main block was finished. If
an earlier Tudor building existed, the majority of which was demolished in
the 18th century and replaced, incorporating Tudor fragments, finishing in
the completion date would be 1767.
This field provides you with a drop-down menu with four
choices: England [E], Scotland [S], Wales [W], and Ireland [I]. You must
choose one of these countries to search by country. However, you may
leave the field as "Unknown" and the search will be performed on all four
If you choose to search by both District Today
(directly below the Country field), and the Country field,
the abbreviations in brackets must match in both fields if you are to get
results from your search, e.g., Swansea [W] in the District Today
field is to be searched together with
Wales [W] in the Country
For the purposes of the Database, Ireland is considered as one country and
is represented by an unofficial flag -- a golden harp on a green field.
Though the purpose of this database is to catalog country
houses, there are a number of buildings listed that are not country
houses. These buildings are usually included in the database because
of their associated historical importance with the families who occupied
These "other" buildings are divided into the following five
categories: Townhouse, Villa, Folly or Outbuilding, Garden,
or Other. You can perform a search for only country houses by
choosing "Yes" from the drop-down list and the results returned
will be only country houses. Conversely, if you want to search for
buildings in the database other than country houses, choose "No"
from the drop-down list, and you will retrieve only buildings in the
search results that fall under the five categories described above.
If you leave the Country House field in "Unknown," you
will retrieve records that contain country houses and other buildings in
the five categories.
Every county and unitary authority of Britain, and every
county of Ireland, as of 1999, are listed in the drop-down list for District
Today. The counties and administrative authorities of Britain
are standardized from "Collins Britain Atlas and Gazetteer" of
1999. For Ireland,
we use "Cadogan Ireland" of 1998.
Choose an area by which to search and make note of
the abbreviation in square brackets that appears immediately after the
area, e.g., Co. Mayo [I]. This abbreviation will identify the
country in which the area is located: E = England, S = Scotland, W = Wales, I = Ireland.
If you choose to search by both District Today and country in the Country
field (directly above the District Today field), the abbreviations
in brackets must match in both fields if you are to get results from your
search, e.g., Ayrshire [S] in the District Today field must be
searched together with Scotland [S] in the Country field.
You may leave the District Today field as Unknown
and the search will be performed on all counties and areas in all four countries.
to the status of a house today, i.e., is it standing or demolished.
You can search by seven terms that
appear in the drop-down menu:
- Information about the house is unavailable or unknown
- The house stands completely intact as it was built, with no demolition
of any of its parts
- The house is still standing and is probably occupied, but has had
wings or other sections demolished
- The house has probably been abandoned and is in poor shape, but is
still basically intact
of the house's exterior walls are still standing, but it has no roof.
a small portion of the walls of the house remain; possibly only a basement
or outline is left.
- The house has been completely destroyed; no physical evidence of it
These categories refer only to the house; many estates where the house has
been destroyed still have gardens, follies, and outbuildings
that are intact that are open to the public; thus, the sometimes
confusing listing of a house that's listed as being
open to the public!
Please note that we concentrate on only one house and refer to its
extant status, even it there were multiple houses by the same name on the
site. Thus, if there was a 15th century house, one built in the
18th century, and third built in the 20th century, only one house will be
the focus of our record. Accordingly, in the above example, if the
18th century house was the house of record, we would list the house as
being demolished, even though a house by the same name exists on the site,
having been built in the 20th century to replace the demolished 18th
century one, which in turn replaced the demolished 15th century house.
In the section "History / Gardens & Park / Movies" you would then find the
15th century house listed in the section entitled Earlier House(s) /
Building(s) and the 20th century house listed in the section entitled
House Replaced By, but the 18th century house would be the star and
the focus of our record.
Over the past couple of hundred years the county lines of
Britain have changed many times. A house that was in Oxfordshire in
the 18th century could have been in Berkshire in the 19th century, and
then back to Oxfordshire in the 20th. If you think the house for
which you're searching may have been in a different county in the past
than it is today, this is the field in which to search
for past county
This is also the field to use when searching for a county whose name has
changed, e.g., search here for Dorsetshire (now called Dorset).
This field also contains different names that the same county goes by,
or regions that contain subsections, e.g., Perthshire is a
subsection of Tayside.
When searching for a record by house name, you can search
by a whole or partial name. If you enter a fragment of a
word, or an entire word, you will retrieve EVERY
record that has that fragment, or word, as a part of its name, e.g.,
will return Chatsworth, and over 80 other records that contain worth as
part of the house name. If you enter king in the search field, you
will retrieve ALL records that have king somewhere in the house name,
Do not put quotation marks around the house name, as this will
confuse the search engine and zero records will be returned for your
searching for a house name that contains the word "Saint" or the
abbreviation "St.", you will get better results if you search without
"Saint or St.",
e.g., search for "Annes,"
not "St. Anne's".
The House Name field does not recognize an apostrophe. So, if
you're searching for Bishop's Court, enter Bishops Court.
Punctuation in general can confuse the search; if you're not getting the
results you want on your search, it's best to eliminate all punctuation
and try again.
The previous or secondary names of a house are shown in parentheses after the name used
today. You can search by previous names, as well as current names, in
the House Name field.
Some houses will have a county or town listed after their name, e.g.,
Dodington Park, Gloucestershire. When this appears, it indicates
that there is a house or houses by the same name or similar spelling,
e.g., Doddington Hall, Cheshire and Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire.
Thus, this listing of the county or town next to the house name is done to
enable easy identification of like-sounding house names or to distinguish
houses that may have the same name and be in the same county,
in different towns.
This search tool casts a wide-net search of all the fields
in the "History / Gardens & Park / Movies" section of each of the over 7,200
houses in The Database of Houses. Thus, if you enter "Reynolds," all
the houses where there was or is a painting by Joushua Reynolds will be
returned. Because this search tool is so broad-based, it's
important to refine your search as much as possible. The fields in
these sections include everything from family names to composers who played
in a house to references from literature to contemporary events.
Movie / TV Titles Filmed at House
field is used to search for a house, or houses, using movie or TV titles as
the search tool.
Houses where filming has taken place will be identified
with this logo:
The search engine will look for houses where filming took place
(currently over 570 houses) that feature the movie
or TV title you
specify. Movies often use multiple locations, e.g., if you search
for "The Remains of the Day," you will retrieve the records of four
houses where the movie used location filming, all of them used to
depict Darlington Hall. When the records
are returned from your search you will need to click on the "History /
Gardens & Park / Movies" section and
then look in the "Movies" field to see the name(s) of the
movie(s) and TV
show(s) filmed at the house. This field is
particularly helpful if you don't know the name of a house, but saw it in a
movie or TV program.
Please note that you should not use quotation marks around the movie
title; this will cause the search engine to return with no results.
Enter the title in plain text, e.g., The Remains of the Day.
When searching in this field, please note that, though we always strive for
consistency, there are inevitable slips. For instance, when searching for a
movie that has the word "and" in the title, it's best to search using both
the "and" and the ampersand (&), e.g., "Sense and Sensibility" and "Sense &
Sensibility." As is always the case with any search, you give yourself the
best possibility for a successful search by making the search criteria as
broad as possible, e.g., typing "Sense" in the field will give you the same
use the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)
as the source of record for dates that we associate with movies and
television programs in our Database of Houses. For consistency, we
have adopted the date that the Internet Movie Database uses directly after
the title, e.g., "The Remains of the Day" (1993)
as the date of record.
To view IMDb's
listing of movies filmed at a house, use the IMDb Power Search (http://us.imdb.com/list),
by entering the house name in the Location field. If a TV program is
not listed in IMDb (common for one-off smaller UK documentaries made for
TV), then the year should refer to when it is first broadcast (or viewed at
a film festival) anywhere in the world (which may differ from the year show
in the credits at the end of the program). For made-for-video titles, the
year refers to the release or first sale date.
Only Show Houses With Images
Over 1,160 records
currently have images attached to them to illustrate the house; many
houses have more than one image (we add images on a regular basis).
When you perform a search for house records with images the Database
will return the initial results with a thumbnail image as shown below.
If you want to search for houses in a particular country,
district today, date field, or any of the other searchable fields,
choose that field(s) and then click the box next to Only Show Houses
With Images. Your search results will be returned with only the
houses that have images in the criteria you specified.
You can be as broad or as specific as you want with an Only Show
Houses With Images search. If you check the Only Show
Houses With Images box and nothing else, every record in the
database with an image will be returned. Conversely, if you choose
England, Derbyshire, Fully Extant, Country House: Yes, and Open
to the Public: Yes from the drop-down menus, and then check the
Only Show Houses With Images box, your search results will return
Only Show Houses With Royal
Over 200 houses are currently listed as having a royal
connection. We define a royal connection as having a member of the British
royal family, or the predecessor royal families of England, Scotland, Wales,
or Ireland, having lived at or visited a house marked with this symbol:
If you want to search for houses in a particular country, district today,
date field, or any of the other searchable fields, choose that field(s), and
then click the box next to Only Show Houses With Royal Connection. Your
search results will be returned with only the houses that have a royal
connection in the criteria you specified. To find the Royal
Connection reference, look in these fields:
~In the "History / Gardens & Park / Movies" section look in the "House &
Family History" field
~In the "Access / Ownership / Seat" section look in the "Today Seat of"
and "A Past Seat of" fields.
You can be as broad or as specific as you want with an Only Show Houses
With Royal Connection search. If you check the
Only Show Houses With Royal Connection box and nothing else, every record in the database with a
royal connection will be returned. Conversely, if you choose England, Derbyshire,
check the Only Show Houses With
and then check the Only Show Houses With Royal Connection box, your
search results will be greatly reduced.
Country houses have traditionally been the primary
residence, or "seat" of landed families for generations. This field
is used to search for families that have occupied, or currently occupy, a
country house. The term "seat" is used in this database very
broadly, e.g., any family that occupied the house for approximately
five years or more will be listed as having made the house
Family names are listed by both title, e.g., "Devonshire" for
the Dukes of Devonshire, and by family surnames, e.g., Warde. In
some cases you can search by both the title or family name, e.g., you will
retrieve the same houses if you search by "Devonshire," or
"Cavendish". If you don't find the match you want the
first time, try searching again by the alternate name, i.e., non-titled
When searching by titles it's best to use the most basic form of the
title. For example, when searching for the seat of the Earl of Carlisle,
you should simply enter Carlisle.
Building a house could often take many years, even decades
in some cases. This is the field to search for a house if you know
the date in which construction was started. This field is very
specific; broad searches are not possible; e.g., if you enter 1785 in the
field you will retrieve the records for houses that started construction
specifically in the year 1785.
Please note that many houses had additions, partial demolitions, and
renovations over the years. The start date here refers only to the
date in which construction on the main block was
commenced. If an earlier Tudor building existed, the majority of
which was demolished in the 18th century and replaced, incorporating Tudor
fragments, starting in 1753, the start date would be 1753.
/ Town/ Village
This field searches for houses located in or near a town, city,
or village in Britain and Ireland (please note that in large cities
like London this field is used to pinpoint the area within a city where a
house is located, e.g., "Mayfair"). Please be aware that the very nature
of a country house means that it is usually not actually in a town or
city; thus, where towns are listed they should be used only as a
reference guide to the general area where the house is located.
A large number of the houses in the Database have a small map that appears on
the "Special Info / Location / Date" page pinpointing the approximate
location of the house; we can increase the number of maps if we have
more towns to associate with houses, so we're most grateful
for updated town information. Email
your updates to us.
Click Here to Email Us