The West Yorkshire families who grew rich through commerce and industry during the Industrial Revolution used their newly acquired wealth to build houses and gardens that were markedly different from those of older landed and commercial families. "Brass Castles" is the first book to explore these nineteenth-century mansions as a group in their own right. In this fascinating sociological approach to architectural history, George Sheeran examines the urban as well as the rural homes of ninety-two of the wealthiest families from the 'New Rich' section of the population. He analyses their wealth and where it came from, contrasts the architecture and functions of their houses, compares them with the general development of the nineteenth-century house and looks at how far they were modified by local or individual conditions.
George Sheeran is an architectural historian at the University of Bradford who has carried out extensive fieldwork and research on West Yorkshire's buildings and both writes and lectures on architecture and garden history.