Volume 1: British Stately Homes: An Insider View with Vivienne Haxby - Context Travel

Volume 1: British Stately Homes: An Insider View with Vivienne Haxby


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This conversation is about the evolution of the English Stately Homes. These fabulous, grand houses collectively have been described as the British nation’s most visible contribution to the riches of European civilization. Taken together with their Collections, the treasures they hold, outweigh the holdings of almost any national museum in the world. Some examples of the houses we cover will be Chatsworth (the Palace of the Peaks), Althorp (home for 500 years to Spencer family, the childhood home of Diana Prince of Wales) and Blenheim Palace (probably the grandest of the Statelies).

A number of the houses are lived in today by the families that built them hundreds of years ago. Often in breathtakingly beautiful settings, the houses have evolved over time in response to the changing needs, tastes, and lifestyles of the owners. We will discuss and explain how the feudal fortress of the 1200s became the party palace of the 1800s.

Led by qualified Blue Badge guide and London expert Vivienne Haxby, this interactive discussion will peek behind closed (aristocratic) doors for a deeper understanding of what the British Stately Home is. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a more nuanced knowledge of this intriguing topic.

This conversation is the first in a two-part series. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order. 
Volume 1: British Stately Homes: An Insider View with Vivienne Haxby
Volume 2: Three Stately British Homes with Vivienne Haxby

Viv has a degree in English Language and Medieval Literature from Durham University. She spends part of each year in France, but for the past 25 years, London has been home. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for London's C18 and C19 history and her detailed knowledge of the city's royal connections. She has a particular interest in the great aristocratic landholdings of London and has created walks around the 'villages' of London such as Chelsea, Bloomsbury, and Spitalfields. Viv also works as a volunteer marshal or 'Green Gown' at Westminster Abbey.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.