Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

21. Country house

Mells Manor

The country house has been described as one of the supreme achievements of British culture. Their architecture, art and landscape setting are all a distinctive product of our history, society and climate. There were concerns that the history of the country house had come to an end in the 20th century. All the signs are, however, that old—and some new—buildings of this kind are thriving.

‘The stately Homes of England, How beautiful they stand!/Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
O’er all the pleasant land’
(Felicia Hemans)

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