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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from general uselessness to agro-bus and golferama
There are many reasons for the demise of many of England's grandest estates, and John Martin Robinson in this book sets out a fine variety of them: the 'general uselessness' of an heir; too many horses; too many bachelor heirs; families quite sensibly rationalising their land-holdings.... and quite a lot more, 21 in total. In addition to the detailed accounts of these 21...
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by Stephen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not really worth owning
The decline of the plutocracy created largely by the industrial revolution. The interiors and gardens were fabulous, but the exteriors by and large of no particular merit. There must have been some more attractive buildings which could have been included.
Published 5 months ago by Justin Scott


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from general uselessness to agro-bus and golferama, 14 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
There are many reasons for the demise of many of England's grandest estates, and John Martin Robinson in this book sets out a fine variety of them: the 'general uselessness' of an heir; too many horses; too many bachelor heirs; families quite sensibly rationalising their land-holdings.... and quite a lot more, 21 in total. In addition to the detailed accounts of these 21 there is a succinct and well-written introduction setting the historical scene.

The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from what is obviously the compendious Country Life archive, all in atmospheric black and white, and some of stunning quality - see for example the spreads on Witley Court.

There is some overlap with Giles Worsley's book on lost houses of England (I think seven of these are mentioned in that excellent book), and one overlap (Shillinglee) with the recent book on lost cricket grounds. However this author is just as interested in the estates and what happened to them as in the houses themselves, and there is scholarly but very readable detail about the way the estates were built up and eventually disposed of. Some of the houses described here are not particularly distinguished, but in each article there is something to enjoy, whether it be the conversion to 'agro-bus and golferama' of some fine estate, or Mr Robinson's rejoicing in how well Rutland Water has naturalised after the loss of Normanton. On the other hand, he is very trenchant when he thinks people behaved badly (e.g. at Lathom).

I enjoyed this and recommend it as a good addition to the Aurum Press list of reminders of our lost heritage. Mind you, there is a split infinitive on page 141.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling - not coffee table, 1 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
This book is an ideal "coffee table" book but it is so much more. I was compelled to read out sections to whoever was in the room.
Not a critism just a regret that I can never visit these magnificent houses. We think we live in hard times but reading this, it's nothing new.
I will read this again in the not too distant future.
If you love looking into the past then this book is one to buy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lost beauty of our countryside, 20 Feb 2012
By 
Mr. D. McKenna "foliofreak" (East Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
After purchasing The Lost Houses of England, it seemed only right to follow by purchasing this volume of lost parklands. Another beautiful book that will be looked at and reread time and time again. If you have a coffee-table collection, then be sure to buy both this book and The Lost Houses of England!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegiac and beautiful book, 6 Feb 2012
This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
Felling the Ancient Oaks is a very well written and beautifully illustrated book, which in some ways makes up for the essential sadness of the story of how so much of the beauty and history of England have been lost, and how so much of the loss was unnecessary.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FELLING THE ANCIENT OAKS, 7 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
This is a superb, but infinitely sad book. I read every word avidly.

It is beautifully printed and presented.

A bibliography is required at the end.

Giles Worsley's " England's Lost Houses " AURUM, 2002, is an even finer book on much the same subject and there is some overlap, as in the case of Nuttall Temple. Worsley's book shows many interiors and Martin's book is rather weak in this respect. Nonetheless, it is a remarkable achievement. Martin's prose is beyond praise !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift, 7 Mar 2012
This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
I bought this book as a gift for my elderly father. He's patriotic and loves the history of the country. The title was all that led me to believe he would enjoy this book and he did. If heritage is dear to you I believe this is a book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates, 9 Jun 2014
By 
D. Chapman (Wantage, Oxon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
A very well written and produced book with heartbreaking photographs of wonderful country houses and estates that no longer exist.
The causes are numerous, the tragic results are the same.
Makes you really appreciate what we still have. Join the National Trust and help todays special places avoid the fate of those in this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Felling the ancient oaks, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
Great book if you're interested in the beautiful houses which have been destroyed, rather than cherished. They could have been looked after and turned into hotels, schools or something, not rubble. A tragedy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning glimpse of our heritage, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
It's good to see how the rich lived in times gone by. Can highly recommend it. I pick it up regularly to look at
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5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary book, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates (Hardcover)
Really interesting and very informative. A great choice and wonderful pictures. Outstanding printing and binding quality. As always, a book that must be in any library on this subject
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Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates
Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates by John Martin Robinson (Hardcover - 1 Feb 2012)
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