University of Leicester
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Patronage and the Architectural Profession: The Country House in Nineteenth-Century Northamptonshire

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posted on 2017-01-09, 15:55 authored by Megan Ruth Leyland
This thesis analyses the architectural development of the nineteenth-century country house by considering the importance of relationships in the complex history of country house building. It reconsiders traditional assumptions concerning country house ownership, aristoricratic patronage, the building process and the architectural profession during the period 1800–1900 which hitherto has received comparatively little attention from country house historians. Whilst considerations of style have, to a limited extent, been addressed, the importance of country house alteration and the role of patrons in determining the form these alterations took has been neglected. The patronage, design, and construction of a country house and buildings on the country house estate was a collaborative process. It was the consequence of a series of decisions and conversations. Negotiation and renegotiation of professional and personal relationships between architect and patrons, and between patrons, usually husband and wife, resulted in redesigns and compromises. On the country house estate these conversations might also include prominent residents, such as the local clergyman. Accessing these relationships and negotiations is a difficult task for the historian as they are often un-recorded. It is therefore hard to define the roles and impact of individulals in the design and construction process. This thesis attempts to recover these complex relationships through an exploration of alterations to four Northamptonshire country houses: Laxton Hall, Lamport Hall, Haselbech Hall and Overstone Hall.



Lindley, Phillip; Sweet, Rosemary

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of History of Art and Film

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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