our courses

From College Library to Country House



From College Library to Country House


This course has now been completed 

 From College Library to Country House is conceived from the perspective of the British aristocracy and gentry whose education centred upon preparing to run the country estate, including house and collections, and will argue for the importance of the library and the book collection in this process. Too often in country house studies the architecture, interior design and art collections have held sway and this programme aims to foreground the College book collections at the disposal of tutors and the subsequent development of the country house library.  Libraries reveal not only the intellectual or recreational interests of past generations, but also how books manifest taste, fashion, and opportunities for display. Book historians and tutors well known in their respective fields will conduct the course, and will consider a broad variety of subjects including book binding, the development of the idea of rare books and of book collections, questions of spatial analysis and mobility, and library portraiture, all in the context of the collections housed in some of the oldest and most complete book rooms in Britain.

This intensive residential course is based in the exceptional surroundings of Selwyn College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Directed by Dr. Andrew Moore, the programme plans to visit a series of iconic libraries. These include the historic private libraries of Houghton Hall created by Robert Walpole, and Holkham Hall, home to one of the greatest private manuscript and printed book collections in Britain, housed today in three of the country’s most important country house library rooms. The course also visits the library designed by James Gibbs for Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, and Anglesey Abbey, created by the Anglo-American oil magnate Huttleton Broughton, First Lord Fairhaven, both now in the ownership of the National Trust. The course also visits the little known Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, Lincolnshire, founded in 1710  by Maurice Johnson of Ayscoughfee Hall: early members included Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Hans Sloane. The course will include the Old Libraries of St John’s College and Queens’ College; the Wren Library, Trinity; the Pepys Library, Magdalene College; the Parker Library at Corpus Christi, the Founder’s Library at the Fitzwilliam Museum and also historic book collections in the University Library designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.

The course will start with coffee on Monday morning and end on Friday afternoon. Accommodation and all meals for the duration of the course are included in the course fee.


Course Director

Dr Andrew Moore 

Course Administrator

Rita Grudzień

Enrolment and fees

The cost of the 5-day course is £2050.  This includes tuition, accommodation, all meals, admissions and travel by private coach. Airfares are not included.

This course has been deferred twice since Sept 2020 and at present is fully booked. However, given the current circumstances, it is possible that there may be some cancellations, so we are happy to invite expressions of interest by 24 January 2022. If you would like to be considered for a place on the waiting list, please contact  and include the following information as a Word attachment: Name, address, email address, phone number, nationality, date of birth, gender, job title, institution, summary of professional responsibilities, brief biography detailing relevant positions (including voluntary activities), an outline of your professional interests/specialities and a personal statement about your reasons for being interested in attending the course. Please note that we may also request a letter of reference.

There is some financial support available for suitable candidates.

The Council of The Attingham Trust reserves the right to adjust fees if there is a substantial change in the exchange rate, as these were assessed on the basis of assumptions made in September 2021. Should this prove necessary, members will be informed.

Please note when making your application that this is an intensive and physically strenuous course. There is plenty of walking, standing and climbing stairs and your fitness must be of a level that will not impact on the enjoyment of the group or take up disproportionate amounts of the organisers’ attention. You should have a good level of spoken English.  Whilst we are happy to cater for vegetarian and gluten-free needs, other specialist diets cannot always be accommodated.


Please note that The Attingham Trust is a registered educational charity. Our courses are provided occasionally, on a not-for-profit basis and to a limited group of participants. This trip does not, therefore, constitute a ‘package holiday’ for the purpose of the Package Travel Regulations

Contact Us

Get in touch
Send A MessageSupport Us