Online lectures about our houses

Our members can access virtual content from anywhere, exploring houses from their armchairs.

Outside lecture at The Hall Bradford on Avon

We run a regular members-only lecture series, with archives available to view on demand. Speakers include independent experts and the owners and curators of some of member houses.

If you’re a member, you can watch any of these past lectures, or sign up for future ones, by signing in here:

All previous lectures you can watch now as a member

Three Great British Gardens

The efforts of Misako Kasahara, from Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Kent; Ed Bollom, from Gordon Castle Walled Gardens in Moray; and Anthony Tavenor, from Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens on Anglesey have all either been nominated for, or won, the Historic Houses Garden of the Year in recent years. We are lucky enough to hear from all three of them in this lecture, where they tell us stories about the gardens they work at and answer members’ questions.

Gordon Castle Garden of the Year

The Politics of Country House Preservation

Elena Porter, Historic Houses’ and Oxford University’s collaborative doctoral researcher, discusses how different governments attempted to balance preservation concerns with their own political agendas. The history of the Historic Houses Association, which was founded in 1973, is a vital part of this story.

HHA History of the Historic Houses Association

Bowhill House: Home of the Duke of Buccleuch

Bowhill, one of the homes of the Dukes of Buccleuch, is quite simply a treasure house.

Here we shall see objects which would make any museum green with envy, beginning with the “Triumph of Caesar” tapestries and continuing through room after room filled with 18th century French furniture, Sèvres and Meissen porcelain.

Bowhill House front

Some Country Houses and Castles in North Wales

North Wales is not normally associated with the rich haul of country houses and ancient castles which proliferate in some parts of Britain.

However thanks to King Edward I and the need to defend his troublesome inheritance, this part of the world is particularly rich in these fortifications, none more so than Caernarfon, which dominates the mouth of the Menai Straits.

Plas Brondanw incredible topiary garden

Country Houses in Novels by Jane Austen

The name Jane Austen is synonymous with rolling parkland, grand Palladian porticos and candlelit ballrooms, but how accurate is this picture to the works and life which inspired the image? Join Lizzie Dunford, Director of Jane Austen’s House, for an afternoon stroll around the country houses of Austen’s novels, both on the page and on screen.

-pencil-drawing-Steventon-Rectory- Jane Austen's House

The Story of the Country House: A History of Places and People

Clive Aslet reveals the captivating stories behind individual houses, their architects, and occupants, and paints a vivid picture of the wider context in which the country house in Britain flourished and subsequently fell into decline before enjoying a renaissance in the twenty-first century.

Chatsworth events at historic houses

Timothy Easton on the 'Magical Protection of Buildings'

50 years ago Timothy began his study of domestic buildings in the small former market town of Debenham in Suffolk. He soon realised there were other people who could measure and draw the buildings in their original form and because he had a busy programme of sculpture and painting exhibitions in American and European galleries.

Carved female figure Penshurst

Noble Ambitions: The Fall and Rise of the Post-War Country House

Adrian Tinniswood, author and historian, talks about the renaissance of country houses during the 'swinging 60's' and how they're continuing to evolve with the times. From Mick Jagger to the Lions of Longleat, this lecture presents a roaring rollercoaster of a ride through a key moment for country houses.

Noble Ambitions, Adrian Tinniswood

Behind the Scenes at Burton Constable

Join Burton Constable Hall’s curator, Philippa Wood, for a glimpse behind the scenes at this historic house in the heart of rural Holderness and the work carried out behind the scenes by a small and determined staff to safeguard this unique slice of English heritage and the stories of the families who have lived there.

Visiting historic houses in Yorkshire

Harewood: The Creation of a Country House

Harewood House is one of the grandest houses in the North of England. Built by the Lascelles family, they built a Palladian Villa designed by the sober local architect John Carr, later embellished by Robert Adam. Here is an 18th century idyll set in its verdant acres overlooking a 'Capabilty' Brown lake.

Harewood House was designed by Robert Adam

Glorious Goodwood: England’s Greatest Sporting Estate and the Dukes of Richmond

James Peill, Curator of the Goodwood Collection, explores the history and art collection at Goodwood House in West Sussex, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Richmond & Gordon.

Goodwood House in West Sussex

Printing the Picturesque

The vibrant 18th century print culture promoted theories of the Picturesque – the appreciation of scenery based on resemblance to landscape paintings. Watch the lecture recording here.

Painting the Picturesque

The Grand Tour in the Ottoman Empire

In this lecture for Historic Houses members, Dr Philip Mansel reflects on the journey of Europeans to explore Athens, Constantinople and other places of interest in the 18th Century.

The Ottoman Empire

The Story of Newby Hall

This talk is the story of a Yorkshire house from its creation in the late 17th century to the present day. The talk took place on Wednesday 24 February 2021.

Newby walk photo by Historic Houses

Holkham and Houghton: Two Great Houses

In the second of Nicholas Merchant's talks for Historic Houses members, we heard about two great country houses built only 16 miles apart in the wide open spaces of Norfolk. The talk took place on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

Holkham Hall in Norfolk

Boughton: The English Versailles

On Sunday 25 October 2020, Historic Houses was delighted to welcome Nicholas Merchant to give a fascinating online lecture exclusive to Historic Houses members on the subject of Boughton House: The 'English Versailles'.

Boughton House Grand Etang. water fountain

The Social History of English Afternoon Tea

On Sunday 24th May, at 4pm, Historic Houses members were treated to a live virtual talk on the history of English Afternoon Tea. The talk was broadcast by Gillian Walnes Perry MBE, the Co-Founder and Honorary Vice President of the Anne Frank Trust. You can now watch an exclusive narrated version of the talk here.

Talliston House kitchen for Afternoon Tea

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Forde Abbey in Somerset