The Cotswolds, the ridge of limestone hills that runs the fifty miles from Chipping Campden in the north to Bath in the south make up England's largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The region's unspoilt countryside, unrivalled architectural heritage and proximity to Bath, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon, make it the country's most popular tourist destination outside of London. Drawing on Country Life magazine's unrivalled picture archive - a unique repository of architectural history - Nicholas Mander has selected two hundred of the very finest photographs to illustrate his fascinating survey of the Cotswolds country house through the ages. Grouped by period and style, the properties featured reveal the historical and architectural importance of the region. Divided into three main sections, the book looks first at the castles such as Sudeley, with its royal connections spanning a thousand years, as well as magnificent examples of early manor houses, including Owlpen and Snowshill Manors and Daneway House; and important Jacobean houses like Stanway and Chastleton House.
The second section focuses on the great Classical country houses and noblemen's palaces of the eighteenth century, including Badminton House and Dyrham Park. The book concludes with a survey of the twentieth century and beyond, documenting the work of leading practitioners of the Arts and Crafts movement, including Ernest Barnsley's Rodmarton Manor and William Morris's Kelmscott -both superb embodiments of the Arts and Crafts ideal. A final chapter covers some of the most recent houses and gardens. A beautifully illustrated book, Country Houses of the Cotswolds is a wonderful celebration of one of some of Britain's most treasured architecture: an essential companion for the armchair sightseer and prospective tourist alike.
Sir Nicholas Mander grew up on a farm in the North Cotswolds. Since 1974, he has lived at Owlpen, a Tudor manor house and garden, which is open to the public. He has known many of these Cotswold houses and seen their owners adapt over three generations of ownership, a period that has seen fundamental change in the agricultural way of life. He has been involved for many years with the management and conservation of historic buildings in the region, and is currently a trustee of the Woodchester Mansion Trust. He was born in 1950, and educated at Downside and Trinity College, Cambridge. He has written many articles for journals and for Country Life, and is the author of Varnished Leaves, and has two titles published by Aurum: The Cotswold House: Stone Houses and Interiors from the English Countryside and Country Houses of the Cotswolds.