Behind the Scenes - comfortable life in the country house

Ref: C2228359

From privies to colza oil lamps, and dairies to bell-pulls, this course will look at the way comfort was gradually achieved within country houses. Starting from a base line of castles, developments in all areas will be studied, and the lives of servants, whose job it was to carry out the labour-intensive tasks, will be considered.

Additional information about this course

Half term date: 16/02/2022

Course aim

To provide a brief introduction to how the areas 'behind the scenes' functioned, and how comfort was gradually achieved., witha view to enhancing visits to heritage houses.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • It would help you understand the scale of the tasks under discussion if you had visited at least one country house, but it isn't necessary to have done so.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain an example of technology to be found in a country house
  • Distinguish features concerned with technological aspects of comfort from those concerned primarily with gracious living
  • Assess the role of the domestic servant in the daily life of the country house
  • Give an example of a country house where some of these technologies might be found (you don't need to have visited it)

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

There is nothing you need to bring. There will be handouts giving a summary of each week. These will include a reading list for those who might like to follow up.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Behind the Scenes - comfortable life in the country house


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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