For centuries English country houses were focal points of rural communities, providing homes and employment for large numbers of indoor and outdoor staff whilst in turn the estates provided their owners with incomes. However the agricultural depressions of 1870s, increased taxation and World War I changed that dynamic forever, particularly as many of those who did return from the Great War left the countryside for better-paid jobs in towns.
To survive and prosper in the 21st century country houses have had to establish and serve new communities to replace the rural ones of old. Today, many country houses have achieved this by becoming hotels, schools, hospitals, museums and even prisons! But sadly hundreds were unable to find a place in the modern world and fell so far into decay that they could not be saved and now lie derelict or were demolished and are lost forever.
The current custodian is presently restoring Lilford Hall and its estate to its former glory. View the plans by clicking the links in the side menu.