If you readers are anything like me, your radar systems will be working to identify any potential programmes about historic houses – so here are a few of my favourites from the past and present…
Castle in the Country – a BBC series, originally shown throughout the week, and then cut into episodes and repeated. There have been several series now at different properties.
- Glamis Castle (Summer 2005)
- Castle Howard (Winter 2005)
- Burghley House (Summer 2006)
- Mount Stuart (Winter 2006)
- Waddesdon Manor (Winter 2006)
- Floors Castle (Summer 2008)
- Berkeley Castle (Summer 2008)
I loved Glamis best of all, and have seen them all now repeated apart from some of Mount Stuart and Floors Castle. You can often catch the repeats on UKTV Gold.
Another series I haven’t seen all of, is about The National Trust (England). This has also been repeated on UKTV Gold.
One I particularly like also is Great Country Houses, which you can often find on Horse and Country TV as well as Berkeley – An English Country Estate.
More recent series include a lovely one only shown over 2005/2006 called The Curious House Guest and was originally shown on BBC2, and then repeated on UKTV Gold. Presented by Jeremy Musson, an architectural historian who has written for Country Life Magazine and has several books to his name, it documented visits to houses still in private family hands in a very warm and welcoming way. I miss this programme very much.
My last addition to the list for now, and a rather more fraught one is Country House Rescue, shown on Channel 4. This documents a businesswoman’s attempt to help people save their country house homes or business or both from failure. This is still running as far as I know.
A slight change from these, but just as excellent was Lost Buildings of Britain, from 2004. Introduced by Simon Thurley, the series focused on:
- Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- Nottingham Castle
- Whitehall Palace
- Fonthill Abbey
- Glastonbury Abbey
- Millbank Penitentiary
As the title suggests, these buildings are partially, or totally lost to us now and the series recreated them using original records and accounts. My favourite were Fonthill Abbey and Millbank Penientiary – I recommend you read more on these two particularly.
I’m sure I will have forgotten ones that I love from here, but I will update if I remember more! Please let me know if I haven’t seen something brilliant!