Course Description

Experience the history and heritage of Britain’s upper crust through their opulent country estates. Meet the colorful characters who built and owned these amazing homes and discover the treasures they collected and displayed to decorate their grand houses. Learn about the political, economic, and social importance of country houses and the challenges of running large estates today.

Each section focuses on a different theme, estate, or family:

Spring 2021: Knole
A medieval archbishop’s palace, hunting lodge for Henry VIII, and home to the Sackville family since 1603, Knole is one of the five largest houses in England and now is part of the National Trust. The dramatic story of the Sackville-Wests and their life at Knole inspired Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, and the original manuscript for the novel is part of Knole’s collection. Discover the fascinating history of this magnificent home and its storied inhabitants.


  • Online registration closes at 6 p.m. one day before the start of the class, unless noted on individual sections.
  • Late registration is welcome! Please contact SMU CAPE at 214-768-2273 for assistance.

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