Upstairs, Downstairs and in my Lady's Chamber

Ref: C3744238

In this course we will trace the development of Country Houses in Britain from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on the lives of the people living in them, both upstairs and downstairs. The Country House and its estate was an important centre of power - political, social and economic - and a major employer of local labour. Using a combination of contemporary documentary evidence in the form of diaries, letters, poems and advertisements; as well as looking at the changing design of architecture, furniture, fittings and fashion, we shall piece together what life was like in these grand and beautiful buildings both for the families who owned them and the people who served them.

Course aim

To give an overview of Country Houses in Britain from the 17th to the 20th centuries, with a particular emphasis on the social history of the people who owned, lived and worked in them.

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 the changing styles of Country House architecture from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
  • Be confident in using primary historical sources to increase your understanding of social history.
  • Recognise how the Country House operated within its wider community.

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

Download full course information sheet

Upstairs, Downstairs and in my Lady's Chamber

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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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