Seven Country Houses in London

Ref: C3743250

We shall look at seven houses and what they reveal about history and architecture which were once country retreats but have now been swallowed by London including aristocratic Hamm and William Morris’s Red House. 1. Introduction and Marble Hill; A Retreat for a King’s Mistress. 2. Ham House; A Stuart Courtiers’ House. 3. Chiswick; The Architect Earl. 4. Kenwood; Architecture and Life in a Lawyer’s Villa. 5. Pitzhanger; Sir John Soane’s Country Retreat. 6. Strawberry Hill; Georgian Gothick. 7. The Red House; William Morris and the Arts and Crafts.

Course aim

The course will consider how country houses reflected their owners’ status and aspirations through architectural style, collections and lifestyle. It will also consider the lives of those who lived and worked in these houses.

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:

  • 1. Identify the principal features of the main architectural styles of villas and how these evolved.
  • 2. Analyse the statements about status which country houses make.
  • 3. Identify the key ways in which country houses were used by their owners.
  • 4. Identify some of the key features of villas near London.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Seven Country Houses in London


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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