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The Country House Revealed

S1-E1 South Wraxall

S1-E1 South Wraxall

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Dan Cruickshank rummages around six important British country houses that – and this is the crucial point – aren’t open to the public, in order to tell their stories. For the most part his investigations into “the hidden gem” of South Wraxall Manor revolve less around architectural furbelows and embellishments than the history of the Longs, the disreputable nouveau riche family that built the place.

That said, South Wraxall in Wiltshire does have magnificent fireplaces, the last word in interior design during Tudor times. Sadly, Cruickshank’s Famous Five-style enthusiasm (all golly and gosh exclamations), interspersed with whispered reverence and agitated hand movements, can be a real distraction. I kept missing what he was actually saying.


Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank tours country homes not open to members of the public, beginning with South Wraxall Manor in Wiltshire, a relic from the medieval and Tudor periods. He explores the history of the Longs. who built the property, and rose to prominence due to their association with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and also examines how a murder in the family may have inspired one of Shakespeare's most famous plays.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Dan Cruickshank
Director Ian MacMillan
Producer Ian MacMillan
Writer Dan Cruickshank


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