The Architectural Development of Blagdon Hall, Northumberland
|Published in:||Architectural History, 2010, v. 53|
Among the country houses of Northumberland several have remained in the hands of the same families for many generations, including Blagdon Hall, 15 km north of Newcastle upon Tyne, the home of Viscount Ridley's family (Fig. 1). There are good documentary records for the estate, some dating from the thirteenth century, and detailed accounts from the mid-eighteenth century onwards, reflecting the continuity of ownership since that time. Examination of these documents and of eighteenth-century illustrations suggested that previously accepted dating of the house needed to be reassessed, and raised questions about sources of designs and the involvement of prominent architects and craftsmen in the evolution of the house. Further investigation revealed that the family and commercial networks of Blagdon's eighteenth-century owners and their builders led to the adoption of the Blagdon design elsewhere in northeast England. This article will examine the remodelling of Blagdon Hall as an example of the history of English élite architecture in the provinces.
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