Vision for the Future

Centre for the Study of the Country House

Vision Statement 2012/13

The CSCH is a multi-disciplinary Centre for the Study of the Country House, perhaps Britain’s most distinctive, and certainly our most internationally recognised, contribution to world culture.  The Centre grew out of a collaborative agreement between the university and the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust in 2004. Since then, the Centre has developed a wide-ranging programme of research and teaches an MA which leads the way in exploring the historical study of the country house as a complex physical, economic and social system that demands multi-disciplinary approaches to interpretation. The importance of this enterprise is underlined by the significance of cultural heritage to the nation’s self-identity and well-being and by the huge contribution to tourism - and the economic, cultural and social benefits such tourism brings – made by the country house.  Our collaboration with both the National Trust and English Heritage, and the impact of our study days and annual lectures at Lamport Hall and elsewhere, bringing cutting-edge academic research to the general public, have been nationally recognised and applauded.


The present focus of the Centre’s work is on the country house in Britain, encompassing local, national and international dimensions of houses, their contents and landscapes, and their cultural, political, social and economic importance. Through collaboration with Lamport Hall initially, and now more widely in the East Midlands, we have both regional and national knowledge. We have specialist expertise in the collections, architecture, gardens, religion, landscape and literature of the country house in Britain and further afield.  We have a synchronic and diachronic perspective, exploring how the country house has evolved through time and, for example, the impact of individual patrons and builders, writers and artists, collectors and agents, in the periods during which they lived.


The purpose of the CSCH is research, postgraduate education and the conveying of that research to the wider community, through collaboration, lectures and publication.  Research and education are at the heart of what we do. We bid successfully for funding from research councils and private sources, resulting in outputs that include publications, public lectures, doctoral research, exhibitions and educational resources.  Our research underpins the postgraduate education we offer in the form of a taught Master’s course set up in 2005, and the research-based PhD, recently enhanced by the award of a Collaborative Doctoral Award from the AHRC.  The Centre’s purpose is to train the next generation of researchers and professionals in the Heritage Industry and to enrich the wider community with the results of our research.


The vision for the Centre is to develop into the country’s leading institute for the study of the country house. This implies deepening and extending our two-fold purpose of research and education.  In the next ten years we shall strengthen our reputation with research councils, national organisations, whether voluntary, privately owned or state-funded, and with policy-makers, as a centre for path-breaking research on the country house, its collections, management and sustainable future.  We aim to become an international Centre for training postgraduate students from across the world through our projected distance-learning programme. The result will be a vibrant Centre, influencing scholarship and policy-making at the highest levels in the understanding of how country houses functioned in the past, how they can be enjoyed and understood in the present, and sustained in the future.

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MA programme bursaries available

Lamport Hall

The Lamport Hall Preservation Trust Ltd annually offers two bursaries for students with a place on The Country House: Art, Literature and History MA programme. Applicants for 2017 should contact Professor Phillip Lindley. The deadline for applications is Thursday 31 August.

The trust also offers one bursary for a DL Country House MA student. Deadline: 2nd February 2018

Contact the Centre for the Country House

Professor Phillip Lindley - Campus based and Distance Learning


Department of History of Art & Film
University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester

Tel: 0116 2522620