The Country House and Garden on Film

Ref: C2225638

This course will explore how country houses and gardens have been used in feature films and in particular, their role and identity in the story. We will examine first what is meant by a country house and garden and consider the histories of the people who lived and worked in them (and still do). We then will explore how these histories and ideas of the country estate are explored by film-makers. Themes will include: country estates as film locations and how different moods can be evoked by their architecture and design; as sites of conflict between classes, owners and servants, and between and among families, and also the economics, politics and power of country estates. Examples will be drawn from a range of film genres such as heritage, history, fantasy, crime and horror and also from different time periods from the 1930s up to present day. We will seek to identify if, and how, the depiction of country houses and gardens has changed over time.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to how country houses and gardens are depicted and used in feature films.

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:

  • Define and describe key issues about the country house and garden particularly its context in history
  • Confidently interpret and discuss different films depicting country houses and gardens
  • With reference to specific examples, be able to identify and discuss key themes from films featuring country houses and gardens
  • Understand the role of different films and genres in shaping people’s ideas about country houses

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

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
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

The Country House and Garden on Film


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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