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Houses of the National Trust: Outstanding Buildings of Britain [Hardcover]

Lydia Greeves
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Sep 2008
The National Trust cares for a wealth of houses and historic buildings of all types, ranging from the grand to the quirky to the humble. A companion volume to the bestselling 'Gardens of the National Trust', this captivating book is a guide to some of the greatest architectural treasures in the country, encompassing both interior and exterior design. Houses covered include spectacular mansions such as Cliveden and Waddesdon Manor, and more lowly dwellings such as the Birmingham Back to Backs and estate villages like Blaise Hamlet in Bristol. In addition to houses, the book also covers fascinating buildings as diverse as churches, windmills, dovecotes, castles, follies, barns and even pubs. The book also acts as an overview of the country's architectural history, with every period covered: the medieval stronghold of Bodiam Castle, Tudor eccentricity in Hardwick Hall, 18th-century grandeur at Kedleston Hall, Victorian splendour at Tyntesfield, and the clean-lined Modernism of The Homewood. The book teems with stories of the people who lived and worked in these buildings: wealthy collectors (Charles Wade at Snowshill), captains of industry (William Armstrong at Cragside), prime ministers (Winston Churchill at Chartwell) and pop stars (John Lennon at Mendips). Written in evocative, imaginative prose and illustrated with glorious images from the National Trust's photographic library, this book is an essential guide to the built heritage of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: National Trust Books (30 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905400667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905400669
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 3 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lydia Greeves is a writer and editor known for her writing on Britain's cultural heritage. She is the author of The Good Country House Guide and Country Cottages. She lives in London.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and informative 19 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A superbly presented book which shows each National Trust house individually with the relevant photographs and historical facts. The quality of the book is reflected in the photographs, the quality of the paper and the informative and highly interesting texts. If you enjoy visiting these places, then this book is a "must" but it's just as relevant if like me, you just enjoy reading about the historical houses of Great Britain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a nicely presented book which, due to space limitations, can only give a broad overview of the properties it covers. It does not claim to be a comprehensive coverage of all National Trust buildings, but does include most of the houses and a representative selection of other properties, such as castles, watermills etc.

Generally two to three pages are devoted to each property, except for the very small ones, and this covers the history of the building itself and interesting facts connected to the building such as information on former owners, contents etc. The book is lavishly illustrated and is a substantial volume so not one which you will want to carry around on National Trust visits!

I have found it most useful in checking out properties which I am planning to visit so as to get a bit of background. If you are going to a different part of the country and are a National Trust member it is interesting to do some pre planning of NT places to visit and this book is very helpful in that respect. A very acceptable pressie for an NT member too!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many houses, not enough attention to each 4 Dec 2010
I would like to give this book (and its unofficial sister publication "treasures from the national trust") a better review, but I can't in all honesty.
The next best thing to visiting these dwellings is a video tour of the houses in question. The next best thing to that are books dedicated to each specific mansion.
After that there are books such as this (touring several houses), giving each house plenty of space. Alas, it doesn't hit the spot.
Too many houses are crammed into it and therefore each house is given scarce attention.
You could (and should) go into more depth with each house. Maybe you have to publish more than one book! But the result would have been so much better and I would gladly have paid the price to own all of them.
I already have returned the book so I can't go into detail describing the contents for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Being a National trust member I quite often pick this great book up to plan days out or weekends away. The NT has some fantastic properties and the book does great justice to them. Contains most of the key information and historical notes about the numerous houses under it's remit. Well worth the money for the beautiful photographs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Things Historical 15 Sep 2010
I bought this book as a birthday present for my wife. She loves all things historical and I couldn't have given her anything better. It has opened up a whole new world of places to go and buildings to see which should keep us both busy for some time. If you want to be in somebody's favour then buy this book for them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust guide 15 July 2010
An excellent reference for those visiting NT properties who want more detail than in the members' list but don't want to delve through detailed guide books.
Equally good to browse through as a "coffee table" book, and to get ideas of places to visit.
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