Essex Country Houses

Ref: C2224464

We will look at some Essex country houses, their architectural and social history, their estates, and the impact of National events on the houses and their occupants. This will cover the late medieval period to today’s world, and we will study the occupants both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’.

Course aim

To investigate the history and influence of some Essex Country Houses, from late medieval times to the modern day - what was their impact on economic, and other aspects of life?

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Outline some of the changes in economic, political, social and spiritual events from medieval times to the present day
  • Identify some aspects from the architectural and society history of the country house, and how it evolved over time.
  • Participate in discussion about how these impacted on the lives of all classes of society who were dependant on the ”Big House”, including both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’
  • Analyse the impact of change on the country house from early times to the modern day world.
  • Assess and participate in discussion about the possible future role of the country house.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • tutor to suggest ideas for research and follow-up activities.

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full Course information sheet

Essex Country Houses


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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