Apethorpe The Story of an English Country House Kathryn A. Morrison, John Cattell, Emily Cole, Nick Hill, Pete Smith

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Publication date:
10 May 2016
Paul Mellon Centre BA
500 pages: 292 x 241mm
250 color + 50 b-w illus.

This beautiful publication narrates the romantic biography of an architecturally significant country residence and its rescue from decline. Dating from the mid-15th century, Apethorpe in Northamptonshire was home to a succession of leading courtiers and politicians. At the command of King James I, the house was refurbished with a richly decorated state apartment. The suite, with its series of rare plaster ceilings and carved chimneypieces, unquestionably ranks as one of the finest—and least known—in Britain. In 2004, English Heritage rescued the house from ruin and has since restored it to much of its glory.
This book places Apethorpe in its wider historical and architectural context, comparing it with other Tudor and Jacobean houses. It sheds new light on the furnishing, decoration, and circulation patterns of state suites in country homes. Written by architectural and archeological experts from Historic England, this monograph, the first on Apethorpe, is illustrated with new and historical photographs, paintings, maps, engravings, and specially commissioned interpretive drawings that reveal how the house looked at key moments in its history.

Kathryn A. Morrison is a senior architectural historian based in the Cambridge office of Historic England

‘Apethorpe is a magical place and this handsome, lavishly illustrated architectural biography captures the romantic quality of the story … It is a comprehensive and beautiful publication, worthy of the monumental subject.’ - Rose Dahlsen, House & Garden

“Properly coherent and readable… this is perhaps the most complete analysis of a country house published in the past 25 years.”—John Goddall, Country Life

"The contexts and parallels offered are valid and illuminating and will add to Apethorpe’s usefulness as a source of comparative material for other studies."—Nicholas Cooper, Transactions