20 Questions Quiz: Country Houses

Test your knowledge of our country houses with this quiz.

  • 3. Answer

    Answer: Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in South Yorkshire

    Brodsworth Hall was built between 1861 and 1863 for Charles Sabine Thellusson, whose great-grandfather Peter Thellusson, a merchant and banker, had bought the estate in 1791. The Thellussons required a house and estate suited to family life and entertaining their social set. They replaced the existing Georgian house with a more efficiently planned new house, setting it further away from the church and village in private gardens overlooking newly opened-up parkland. Brodsworth survives as a mid-Victorian vision of a comfortable country house, with many of its original furnishings and the formal gardens laid out around it. The property had fallen into disrepair by 1990, when it was taken into English Heritage's care. Since then, its fragile interiors have been carefully conserved, while the gardens have been returned to their earlier formality.

  • 4. The Grange at Northington, Hampshire, was built in which style?

    Answer: Greek Revival

    Set in a landscaped park, The Grange at Northington, Hampshire, is the foremost example in England of Greek Revival architecture. The mansion owes its present appearance to the architect William Wilkins, who, between 1809 and 1816, transformed a modest 17th-century brick building into something more like an Ancient Greek temple. Wrapping the house in cement, Wilkins added classical facades, including the striking temple front supported on eight gigantic columns.

  • 7. Where would you find the 18th-century Appuldurcombe House?

    Answer: The Isle of Wight

    Begun in the early 18th century as the seat of the Worsley family, Appuldurcombe was once the grandest house on the Isle of Wight. Appuldurcombe was a masterpiece of English baroque architecture and, though now a graceful shell, retains many fine architectural details. The celebrated landscape designer 'Capability' Brown enhanced the rolling grounds in the 1780s.

  • 8. Lyddington Bede House in Rutland was converted into an almshouse in the 1600s. What is an almshouse?

    Answer: Charitable housing for the poor and elderly, usually funded by a religious order

    Set beside the church of Lyddington, a picturesque ironstone village, Lyddington Bede House originated as the medieval wing of a palace belonging to the Bishops of Lincoln. By 1600 it had been passed to Sir Thomas Cecil, son of Queen Elizabeth I’s chief minister, who converted it into an almshouse (or ‘bedehouse’) for 12 poor ‘bedesmen’ over 30 years old and two women, who had to be over 45 and free of lunacy, leprosy or the French pox. It continued as an almshouse until the 1930s.

  • 9. Which property houses the Wernher Collection of art?

    Answer: Ranger’s House in London

    Ranger’s House is home to the world-class Wernher Collection, which was amassed by the 19th-century businessman Sir Julius Wernher. More than 700 works of art are displayed across a dozen panelled interiors, and include medieval sculptures, glittering enamels, ornate jewellery, Renaissance paintings, Dutch Old Masters and French tapestries.

  • 10. Answer

    Answer: Wrest Park

    This magnificent 1830s house is set in an outstanding restored garden landscape originating in the 17th century. The house itself is remarkable, a notable example of 19th-century English architecture following the style of an 18th-century French chateau. Its grounds are a glorious amalgam of three centuries of English garden design, and contain one of the few remaining formal gardens of the early 18th century. In 2006, English Heritage took over the house, and began an ambitious 20-year project to restore the gardens to their pre-1917 state.

  • 12. Which king took refuge at Boscobel House (pictured) in 1651 after Civil War defeat?

    Answer: Charles II

    Following the execution of King Charles I in 1649, his eldest son made a brave attempt to regain the throne. In 1651 his hopes were crushed at Worcester in the final conflict of the Civil War. Following the defeat, young Charles was forced to flee for his life towards the River Severn. Finding his way blocked by Cromwell's patrols, he sought refuge instead at Boscobel, hiding first in an oak tree and then in a priest hole under the attic stairs. Today, the lost oak pasture has been restored, including trees descended from the original oak in which Charles hid.

  • 13.What saved Marble Hill from destruction in 1902?

    Answer: It’s part of a view protected by an Act of Parliament

    Marble Hill was built in the 1720s as a Palladian retreat for Henrietta Howard, an notable figure in Georgian court society. The house and estate were saved from destruction and development by an Act of Parliament in 1902, because they lay at the heart of the memorable view from Richmond Hill. The property is the last complete survivor of the elegant villas and gardens that once bordered this part of the Thames.

  • 14. Which site was the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement?

    Answer: Chiswick House and Gardens in London

    At the start of the 18th century, it was fashionable to have formal gardens, laid out in carefully planned geometric shapes. But the 3rd Earl of Burlington – who designed this neo-Palladian villa – opted for more natural style with stretches of water and groves, opening out into sweeping lawns to create picturesque views. These more informal gardens gave birth to the English Landscape Movement and were widely copied across England.

  • 15. Answer

    Answer: 17th century

    Sutton Scarsdale Hall was built in the baroque style, on the site of an existing house, between 1724 and 1729 for the 4th Earl of Scarsdale. Roofless since 1919, when its interiors were dismantled and some exported to America, the ruins of the hall were saved from demolition by the writer Sir Osbert Sitwell, who bought it in 1946 after he had heard of the impending sale to dismantle the stonework.

  • 18. Answer

    Answer: Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

    The Belsay that visitors see today comprises three distinct but related elements: a medieval castle that was enlarged into a Jacobean mansion in the early 17th century, a Greek Revival mansion that succeeded it as a family residence at the beginning of the 19th century, and 20 acres of outstanding gardens. The gardens are among the best preserved examples of the Picturesque style of gardens in Britain, while the romantic Quarry Garden was created where stone was cut for the hall.

  • 19. Which London property boasts 112 acres of parkland designed by Humphry Repton?

    Answer: Kenwood

    Sitting on the edge of Hampstead Heath, 17th-century Kenwood is one of London's hidden gems. The house was transformed in the 18th century into a grand neoclassical villa, before celebrated landscape gardener Humphry Repton remodelled the grounds. Repton created a series of meandering paths around the estate to show off all its aspects to their best advantage. He broke up the wide sweeping views in the parkland by planting groves of trees for variety and contrast.

  • 20. Answer

    Answer: The Swiss Cottage

    Hidden in the woods at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, well away from the main house, is the Swiss Cottage – a little Alpine-style chalet built by Prince Albert. Chalets such as this were popular in the early 19th century but were usually built to enhance a garden’s picturesque qualities – they were placed where they could be a focal point, or themselves offered attractive views. But the Swiss Cottage at Osborne had an altogether different purpose. Hidden behind a belt of trees, it was instead built to provide a private space for the royal children to learn about housekeeping, cookery and gardening.