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The Great House in the Twenty-first Century

Course details

From £138.00

Fri 01 May 2020 - Sun 03 May 2020
6.30pm Friday - 1.00pm Sunday

The Great House in the Twenty-first Century


The great house, which in the years after World War II had seemed to be doomed as an historic anachronism in a society with other priorities, enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in the latter part of the 20th-century. Its popularity for the hereditary aristocracy, aspiring owners and the visiting public has continued to blossom in the present century.

This weekend will provide an opportunity to explore some of the themes which have emerged since the turn of the millennium and will cover new and established houses and their garden settings, and will examine the ways in which houses are managed and presented to the public.

It can be considered as a continuation of the popular annual series on the Great House which was offered by the Department from 1994 to 2001.

Programme details

Friday 1 May 2020

6.00pm           Registration (for those who have booked meals and or 


6.30pm           Dinner

7.45pm           Registration (for those who have booked as non-residential

                       without meals)

8.00pm-         Country Life, great houses and the new century: revivals and

9.15pm           tranformations

                       JEREMY MUSSON

Saturday 2 May 2020

8.00am           Breakfast (residents only)

New Country Houses

9.00am           Tradition, Modernity, and Innovation

                        ROBERT ADAM

10.00am          The landscape of the country house in the 21st century

                        KIM WILKIE

11.00am           Coffee/tea

11.30am           The Modernist great house: poetic or paradox?

                         ALAN POWERS

12.30pm          Break

1.00pm            Lunch

Historic Houses in the 21st Century

2.00pm           The English country house in the longue durée

                        PETER MANDLER

3.00pm           Doddington Hall - a case study of survival through


                       JAMES BIRCH

4.00pm           Tea/coffee

4.30pm           The country house in institutional use: can it survive?

                        ANNE SIDDERS

5.30pm            Break                  

6.30pm            Dinner

Visitor presentation

8.00pm-         Representing Country Houses

9.15pm           BEN COWELL

Sunday 3 May 2020

8.00am           Breakfast (residents only)

Visitor presentation (continued)

9.15am            National Trust treasures houses and reconsidering the

                        authentic period interior

                       TARNYA COOPER

10.30am         Coffee/tea

11.00am          From Twickenham to Northumberland; English Heritage’s

                        Historic Houses

                        ANNA EAVIS

12.15pm          Summing-up and discussion

                        MALCOLM AIRS

12.45pm          Break

1.00pm            Lunch and course disperses




Description Costs
Tuition (includes coffee/tea) £138.00
Baguette Saturday £5.00
Baguette Sunday £5.00
Dinner Friday Evening £25.00
Dinner Saturday Evening £25.00
Hot Lunch Saturday £15.00
Hot Lunch Sunday £15.00
Single B&B Friday & Saturday Nights £165.00
Twin/Double B&B Friday & Saturday Nights £234.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Professor Robert Adam


Director, ADAM Architecture

Mr James Birch


President of Historic Houses

Dr Tarnya Cooper


Curatorial and Collections Director, National Trust

Dr Ben Cowell


Director General, Historic Houses

Ms Anna Eavis


Curatorial Director, English Heritage

Professor Peter Mandler


Professor of Modern Cultural History, University of Cambridge, and Bailey Lecturer in History, Gonville and Caius College

Mr Jeremy Musson


Author and historic buildings consultant

Dr Alan Powers


NYU London

Mrs Anne Sidders


DPhil student in Architectural History, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

Dr Kim Wilkie


Landscape architect

Professor Malcolm Airs

Director of Studies

Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment, University of Oxford

Dr Paul Barnwell

Director of Studies

Dr Paul Barnwell is Director of Studies in the Historic Environment and Co-Director of Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment at OUDCE.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Friday and Saturday nights only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.