The Country House Revealed
The Country House Revealed is a six-part BBC series first aired on BBC Two in May 2011, in which British architectural historian Dan Cruickshank visits six houses never before open to public view, and examines the lives of the families who lived there. The series was accompanied by a full length illustrated companion book published by the BBC.
Episode 1 tells the story behind South Wraxall Manor, hidden in the depths of the Wiltshire countryside. Built by a family with a dramatic and chequered history - the Longs - who rose in prominence through the Tudor period to become knights of the realm, friends of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and one of the most powerful dynasties in England.
Episode 4 shows Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham, one of the largest country houses in Europe. The building exemplifies the workings of British Parliamentary democracy before the Reform Act of 1832, and is important in the history of Whig politics, its owners having included influential Prime Minister Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham. The episode also relates the near-destruction of the estate by controversial open-cast coal mining in the 1940s and 1950s, and speculates on how such a huge country house needing extensive renovation might find a use in the 21st century.
Episode 5 looks at the Clandeboye Estate in Northern Ireland.
The series was accompanied by a full length illustrated companion book published by the BBC. The six chapters of the book correspond to the six episodes of the BBC series.
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