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Published by on 29 May 2023

 Furnishing the Country House: makers, designers and patrons through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries


Join us in June for this BIFMO-FHS online course to examine the creation of British country house interiors from the mid seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century with an emphasis on furniture makers and designers. Each of the four sessions on Zoom will deal with a different stylistic phase and will be introduced by Dr Megan Aldrich. Megan will be followed by two case studies; presentations about specific country houses delivered by eminent curators and historians.

Guided tours to Syon House (1-3 pm (BST) Thursday 15th June) and Petworth House (11am – 3pm (BST) Friday 23rd June) are also available to complement the course.  Places on these visits are limited.

Carved room
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
National Trust

The Carved Room, Petworth House © National Trust Images. Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel

SESSION 1: Tuesday 6th June 4.30pm – 7pm (BST), 11.30am -2pm (EDT)

Furnishing British Country Houses in the 17th century: the assimilation of Continental influences or styles

An overview of the seventeenth century, tracing the brief flowering of Palladianism in addition to Dutch and other influences, including chinoiserie - Dr Megan Aldrich

Chirk Castle and its Interiors in the 17th century - Dr Megan Wheeler

Elizabethan Home to Palladian Palace: furnishing the state apartments at Chatsworth between 1687 to 1707 - Sash Giles

SESSION 2:  Wednesday 7th June 4.30pm – 7pm (BST), 11.30am -2pm (EDT)

Furnishing the Country House in the early 18th century and The Palladian Tradition

The first half of the eighteenth century and the re-establishing of the Palladian tradition - Dr Megan Aldrich

The ‘Oracle’. James Moore and the country house - Rufus Bird

Cistercian Monastery to Palladian Palace: the transformation of Woburn Abbey and the furniture provided by the London trade -Matthew Hirst

SESSION 3: Tuesday 13th June 4.30pm – 7pm (BST), 11.30am -2pm (EDT)

The Mid Georgian display of knowledge and curiosity; Rococo fantasy and imagination

The Picturesque and the Gothic: designs for house and garden - Dr Megan Aldrich

'Chinoiserie, Darly and the Root of the Matter: 18th century English garden furniture.' - Lisa White

William Hallett and the furnishing of Strawberry Hill - Adriana Turpin

SESSION 4: Wednesday 14th June 4.30pm – 7pm (BST), 11.30am -2pm (EDT)

Neoclassical themes: creating a unified interior

The development of the neo-classical interior  - Dr Megan Aldrich

James Wyatt and supplying furniture for Coole Castle, Northern Ireland - Frances Bailey

Wentworth Woodhouse: furnishing a Yorkshire palace - Peter Brown

Further information together with tickets for the course and house visits are available on Eventbrite; please click here 

Please email if you have any further questions.