Behind the Scenes in a Country House

Ref: C2342786

Looking around country houses, we may get an impression of comfort and even luxury, but what did it take to create comfort in these houses? Indeed, was that even possible? We will consider each element week by week: how the basics were provided, what developments took place, and why they took so long to reach the larger houses. We will also look at the lives of those who rose early and, in some instances, went to bed late, too. Bearing in mind that those who provided the comfort were hired, paid and fired by the steward, is it so surprising that few employers gave their servants much thought? Until the situation became more difficult after WW1, servants, like money were rarely, if ever, discussed. Local houses such as Canons Ashby, Drayton and Kelmash Hall, will be included with other examples from across the country.

Course aim

Looking at how - and when - comfort developed in the country house, and who was responsible for providing it, behind the scenes.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify features concerned with comfortable life
  • Explain examples of basic technology to be found in country houses
  • Assess the role of the domestic servant in the daily life of the country house
  • Identify places to visit to view examples of technology in 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
  • There will be weekly handouts, which will include books which may be of interest for further reading.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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 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 as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Places of interest are illustrated during the course, and mentioned on the handouts. You may wish to follow up on some after the course.

Download full course information sheet

Behind the Scenes in a Country House

Enrolment Conditions

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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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