a conference

The Horse and the Country House



The Horse and the Town and Country House:

Art, Politics and Mobility


Institute of Continuing Education, Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge

18 – 19 November 2022


This two-day conference is a new initiative for the Attingham Trust, one which we believe will encourage wider participation and accessibility while fulfilling the charity’s core purpose of studying the British historic house and its collections. It follows the 2018 Attingham Trust Study Programme, The Horse and the Country House, which attracted much positive attention and made it clear this under-researched topic deserved further investigation.  

The overriding aim of the conference will be to interrogate the place of the horse in the British country house. Horses, once so vital to the smooth functioning of the country house in England, have, more recently, been marginalized and even omitted from discussions.  Existing stable blocks are rarely used for their original purposes and the signs of the working horse and horse-drawn transport are increasingly hard to find.  Inside houses, the legacy of the horse in the form of sporting art and racing trophies is more evident, but rarely explained.  The conference will encourage a wide-ranging assessment of the many roles played by horses in country house society. From sporting art and memorabilia, riding dress and horse tack, carriage design and liveries, stables and stable servants, mobility and horseracing, the conference will explore the ways in which the horse has been central to the artistic, social, cultural, economic and political functions of the country house.  

Further information and booking details will be available shortly.

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