Secrets of the Manor House

Secrets of the Manor House


To the tumbrils! If television had existed prior to 1789, a programme like this could have helped fan the flames of revolution. Outlining the decline of the British aristocratic way of life, it relishes in the detail of their “loose and lavish extravagance, with morals to match”, while bewailing the hard lot of the staff below stairs.

Attempting to deconstruct British class structure for a, presumably, American audience that knows little more about the subject than what they’ve seen in Downton, means this is history painted with a broad brush. But houses such as Manderston and Dunham Massey look handsome.


Documentary examining life in stately homes during the Edwardian era, focusing on class divisions. Historians, members of the gentry and descendants of those who lived in such properties offer unique insights.