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13 May 2020Burned Bombed or Bulldozed: Britain's Lost Houses
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Burned Bombed or Bulldozed: Britain's Lost Houses Matthew Williams Wednesday 13 May 2020

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.  

Matthew holds degrees from the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is a recognised expert on the work of the Victorian designer William Burges,  he 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. Matthew is a long-standing member of The Arts Society, he has been a programme secretary and a chairman before becoming an accredited lecturer in 2001.