Conference | Lost Mansions and Country Estates

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 5, 2013

From the conference programme:

Lost Mansions and Country Estates
Wivenhoe House, University of Essex, Colchester, 13 July 2013

Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex, engraved by John Carr Armytage, 1833 (engraving)

Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex, engraving by John Carr Armytage, 1833. The house was destroyed in 1950; the site is now an archeological excavation.

The conference will offer a broad historical context for the destruction of great houses in modern Britain, asking questions about the causes of their loss, the representation of lost mansions and estates at the time of their disappearance, and contemporary resurgent interest in the ‘great estate’. At issue will be the nature of ‘heritage’, the relevance of conservation, and our understanding of proprietorship and estate management in times of social, political and economic transformation. What was the place of the great house in local society, politics and economy, and how does this relate to the popular romanticisation of the great house from Brideshead to Downton?

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P A R T  1 — Wivenhoe House, University of Essex, Colchester

10:30  Registration and welcome over coffee (James Raven)

10:45  Session 1: Irish Mansions
• Terry Dooley (National University of Ireland, Maynooth): ‘The Disappearance of Irish Country Mansions, 1879-2013.’
• Ian d’Alton (Co. Kildare, Ireland): ‘An Aesthetic of Living: Bowen’s Court, Co Cork, and Its Significance in the Imagining of the Irish Gentry’

11:45  Session 2: Rescue and Ruin
• Christopher Ridgway (Castle Howard Estate, Yorkshire): ‘Castle Howard: Lost and Saved’
• Michael Davis (West of Scotland): ‘Better Off As Ruins? The Scottish Castle Restoration Debate’

12:45  Lunch

13:15  Session 3: The Country Estate and General Loss
• Jon Stobart (University of Northampton): ‘Lost Aspects of the Country Estate’
• Barbara Wood (National Trust, South West Region): ‘The Loss of Country Houses and Estates through the Destruction and Obscuring of Identity’
• John Harris (1975 exhibition organiser, London): ‘Empty Country Houses and the Destruction Exhibition in 1975’

W.M. Roberts will sign copies of his book Lost Country Houses of Suffolk during the registration and lunch periods.

P A R T  2 — Marks Hall, Coggeshall

14:45  Coaches to Marks Hall (assemble outside the main entrance to Wivenhoe House)

15:15  Tea at Marks Hall Visitor Centre

15:30  James Raven (University of Essex): ‘The Lost Mansion of Marks Hall’

16:00  Tour of the Marks Hall mansion site and estate

17:00  Discussion at Marks Hall Visitor Centre

18:00  Coaches back to University

Registration: Karen Shields, ‘International History Conference: Lost Mansions and Country Estates’, Departmental Administrator, Department of History, Room 5NW.7.20, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ. Cheques payable to ‘The University of Essex’. £25; £15 for student concessions.

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