There is something incomparably romantic about a long-lost country house, and although Britain still possesses some of the finest of these architectural treasures to be found anywhere, many have been destroyed. A single ruined lodge or pavilion, an over-grown drive or group of mature trees are sometimes all that now exists to remind us of a lost house and pleasure-ground.This lecture tells the story of just some of these losses to our National Heritage – destroyed for a variety of reasons; from neglect, arson, enemy action, incompetence, family rivalry, financial disaster or even insanity! In the mid-twentieth century particularly, profound social change, wars, high taxation and bad management often contributed to the demise of many grand houses. Hundreds were demolished after 1945 – some beautiful, some ugly, but each lost house, as the lecture shows, is fascinating in its own way.
THE ARTS SOCIETY ACCREDITED LECTURER
Mr Matthew Williams
Holds degrees from the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. A recognised expert on the work of the Victorian designer William Burges, Matthew was Curator of Cardiff Castle for nearly 30 years. His most recent publication is a major book Cardiff Castle and the Marquesses of Bute, published in 2019. A long-standing member of The Arts Society, Matthew has been a programme secretary and a chairman before becoming an accredited lecturer in 2001.