Country Life’s 10 best architecture stories of 2021

From world-famous icons such as the Royal Albert Hall, to obscure but no less wonderful country houses, we look at some of the highlights of the year from Country Life's architecture pages.

The Forth Bridge: A masterpiece that’s 1.5 miles long, 360ft high, made of 54,000 tonnes of steel

The Forth Bridge, designed by Sir Benjamin Baker and Sir John Fowler, is one of the great masterpieces of Victorian engineering. Jack Watkins told its story.

Read the full article.


Cornwell Manor: Inside one of the most admired houses in the Cotswolds

Cornwell Manor, Oxfordshire is a medieval house that also answers the popular ideal of a Cotswold home.

Read the full article.


The Archer Pavilion: One of Britain’s greatest Baroque buildings is finally getting recognition — as is its creator

The Archer Pavilion in Wrest Park is one of the most spectacular garden buildings of the English Baroque. Helen Lawrence-Beaton told its story, and that of its architect.

Read the full article.


Britain’s best seaside architecture: The playful details that shaped our coastal towns, from funicular railways to Victorian masterpieces

What is it that makes the buildings of the seaside so distinct? Kathryn Ferry looked at the vibrant architecture of our coastal towns.

Read the full article.


Athelhampton: The idyllic Tudor home that inspired generations of country house lovers

The 1890s restoration of the idyllic Tudor manor house Athelhampton, Dorset — now the home of Giles Keaton — helped kindle an enthusiasm for England’s ancient houses and a new style of formal garden, as John Goodall explained.

Read the full article.


Windmills: England’s beautiful remnants of a simpler time — from the outside so scenic, yet mechanical marvels within

Our remaining windmills are unashamedly romantic slices of old England, explained Eleanor Doughty.

Read the full article.


The Royal Albert Hall: A 19th-century marvel that ‘has lost none of its power to amaze’

As the Royal Albert Hall celebrated its 150th anniversary, John Goodall looked at the remarkable story behind the creation of this world-famous venue.

Read the full article.



The stone-by-stone project to rescue the cloisters at Iford Manor: ‘We’ve saved it from collapse’

One of Wiltshire’s prettiest houses, Iford Manor, has been recognised by Historic Houses for its fabulous restoration of the medieval-style cloisters. Annunciata Elwes told the tale.

Read the full article.


The John Rylands Library: How one of Britain’s great libraries was created

The widow of a successful industrialist turned her inherited fortune towards the creation of one of Britain’s greatest libraries: The John Rylands Library, Manchester.

Read the full article.


Sheringham House, Humphry Repton’s ‘darling child’ and ‘most favourite’ work

Jeremy Musson reported on the restoration of Sheringham Hall in Norfolk, the home of Paul Doyle and Gergely Battha-Pajor, looking at the outstanding Regency house, its garden, and its celebrated Repton landscape.

Read the full article.