Visiting a country house is an adventure for me. The experience is never the same twice. Each house continues to unfold and hypnotize long after I've returned from my visit. The magic of discovering these gems is unlike any other experience. (If you'd like to know what a country house is, click here; to view a slide show giving an overview of country houses and country house gardens, click here).
British and Irish country houses have been
my chief passion since my adolescence. The DiCamillo Companion to
Irish Country Houses came about as the result of an attempt
to catalog, for my personal reference, the many country
houses of Britain and Ireland. Originally I simply wanted to record whether each house were standing or demolished, but then other relevant details seemed increasingly necessary to add, and the list took on a life of its own. What began as an avocation became a serious quest, now in its 14th year, to develop a database of all the country houses ever built in Britain and Ireland.
The Database is updated daily, with information coming from professional journals, my 2,300-volume library on country houses and allied subjects, and from contributors around the world who kindly provide information and photographs. The Database currently contains records for more than 7,200 houses and listings of over 600 houses where movie and TV filming have taken place. This undertaking will compile as many details as can be found about the houses, families who occupied them, and their estates, in a standardized format. The project will take many years to complete, but I believe that the Database is already a major resource, and the only comprehensive one online, for thumbnail information on these magnificent houses. Click here to enter The Database of Houses.
If you're interested in learning more about British country houses, we've put together a pdf recommended reading list, which you can see and download by clicking here. There are an astounding number of publications on the subject and this is by no means a comprehensive list, but a simply a starting point. If you think there are particularly important titles that we've omitted, email us and let us know! Click Here to Email Us
To learn more, click on About The Database of Houses.
If you'd like to see our guide to the proper (British) pronunciation of house names,
I enthusiastically encourage you to offer new information on houses, or corrections to existing information.
This site is maintained for the scholarly dissemination and exchange of information on these amazing houses -- one of Western civilization's greatest repositories of culture and art.
-Curt DiCamillo, FRSA*
*Fellow, The Royal Society of Arts
Member, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
Alumnus, The Attingham Summer School for the Study of Historic Houses, Royal Collection Studies
Fellow, Massachusetts Historical Society
Listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World
The American Friends of Attingham
The Beckford Society
Furniture History Society
The Georgian Group
Historic Houses Association
The Institute of Classical Architecture
Irish Georgian Society
The Landmark Trust
The Mausolea & Monuments Trust
The National Trust for Scotland
The Royal Oak Foundation
SAVE Britain's Heritage
The Society for Court Studies
The Society of Jewellery Historians
Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation
Yale Center for British Art
If you would like to read my brief CV, click here
Yes, indeed, the author Kate DiCamillo is my sister. You can take a look at her website by clicking on this link:
To see photos of us, click here
Though it has little to do with British country houses, click here to take a look at a sublime drawing of a proposed new Boston City Hall (I live in Boston) by my friend Aaron Helfand. Among other influences, Aaron, a practicing architect, was inspired by Siena's Piazza Del Campo and Somerset House in London. I've shown his rendering below a photo of the current city hall, an abomination masquerading as architecture.