The Country Houses of Shropshire

The Country Houses of Shropshire
Gareth Williams
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Shropshire is the largest English inland county, and has a wide variety of important landed country houses, with owners from diverse social groups, with links to trade in Liverpool, Manchester and London as well as the local gentry. This book is not simply about the houses they built, but also about the people who lived in them and the context in which the houses are set. The architecture is of course fully covered. What is distinctive about the author' s approach is that he treats the histories of the families, their artistic tastes and their estates, as an integral part of the character of each house. Country houses can serve as a barometer of national tastes and of the social and economic times in which they were built. The work includes reference to the important sporting associations, fine and decorative art collections, and to important guests and social networks. Unlike most architectural guides, this aims at a wider readership, and will be an important resource for social historians, genealogists and local historians. The Country Houses of Shropshire considers the history of 347 identified houses of varying importance; those with a significant or influential history are given a main entry of up to 6000 words whilst lesser houses are treated with an entry of less than 1000 words. All houses have footnoted entries, enabling the reader to refer directly to source and to undertake further research themselves. GARETH WILLIAMS has been a regional director of Sothebys and a curator for the National Trust at Nostell Park. He is now curator at Weston Park, one of the major country houses in Staffordshire, and head of learning at the education centre there.
Gareth Williams is Curator of Early Medieval Coins at the British Museum and of the exhibition Vikings: life and legend.