English Country House

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  • Topic: English country house, 16th century, Great house
  • Pages : 2 (570 words )
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  • Published : April 30, 2013
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February 28th, 2013
Power Houses
English country houses in the 16th century were also known as “power houses” according to Mark Girouard. Along with the amount of land, the English country houses established a sense of social status and wealth. Each house had been laid out carefully to provide an even greater sense of social status to the guest as well. These houses were huge and incredibly lavish. Their main goals were to identify the owner’s social status, to provide entertainment and provide a small “kingdom” of the owners themselves.

In the 1500’s, social status was everything to most people. It defined who you were and what privileges you had, and the houses were a perfect way to display your power. “Essentially they were power houses – the houses of a ruling class… people did not live in country houses unless they either possessed power, or… were making a bid to possess [power]” (Girouard, p. 2). This shows that the social belief was that only the people who lived in a country had power, or were aiming for power.

With a “power house”, came a great amount of land, again to show power. “Land provided the fuel, a country house was the engine which made it effective” (Girouard, p. 2). The owners would rent out that land to lesser class people and would be able to earn money from them. Some of that rent money was used to remodel and improve the country house to fit the more modern ways of entertaining. “A country house was an expensive piece of plant which needed constant alteration as well as constant maintenance if it were to continue to fulfill its functions” (Girouard, p. 2). The target of entertainment is always changing so in order to keep up with the demands, money from rent is good for that. Also with the tenants at the palm of the owners’ hand, he established a small kingdom, to say the least, with an army that will fight for him and voters that will vote for him for they were in debt to him in a way. English country houses are laid out in...
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