Stately Homes and Country Gardens

Oxford Royale Academy's Summer School for Adults, on the campus of the University of Oxford, taught by elite ORA academic faculty.

Why Study Stately Homes and Country Gardens?

Step back in time and explore art, architecture, and gardens as you analyze the social, political, and economic contexts of the country house through over 500 years of English history and culture. With historic estates, homes, and gardens as the classroom, you will complete your own research that investigates the multidisciplinary history of the country house.

Why Choose This Course?

  • Learn how to analyze the social, political, and economic contexts of the English country house.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to conduct research and analysis situating “country houses/living” within broader historical trends.
  • Conduct field analysis and immerse yourself in five hundred years of history, art and culture as you visit Blenheim Palace, Broughton Castle, 17th Century Country Houses in Syon, and landscape gardens in Stowe.
  • Visit the Ashmolean Museum and explore the importance of “The Grand Tour” and debate the collection of artifacts and items of historical/cultural importance.
  • Gain insight into the critical developments of the English country house over the past five hundred years and its role in shaping multidisciplinary histories.
  • Evaluate the country house as a community institution as opposed to a strictly private residence.
  • Gain a broad understanding of the fundamental elements of a classical building, while identifying innovations in both art and architecture.
  • Design and present a research study focused on the social, political, and/or economic implications of the fieldwork and theory conducted during the course.

What’s included?

  • Residential in the prestigious colleges of the University of Oxford.
  • Inspiring courses taught by experts.
  • A truly international environment – form a global network.
  • Accommodation, meals, tuition and cultural programme.
  • Graduation, report cards and certificate.
  • 10 exciting lectures and 10 lively discussion-based seminars.
  • Maximum 10 students per class.
  • 15+ hours tuition / week.
  • Talks with world-class guest speakers.
  • Inspirational cultural programmes, including excursions to historic UK locations.
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What you will learn

On this course, you will:

  • Learn how to “read” a landscape garden and interpret the fundamental elements of a country house.
  • Identify broad trends and innovations across five centuries of art, architecture, and landscape design.
  • Investigate the connection between “housing” and “power”, and identify the symbolic role of the English Country House.
  • Develop insights and skills towards the interpretation of various periods like the Victorian Style, the Gothic Revival, and Medieval backgrounds among others.
  • Conduct research and apply a multidisciplinary lens to investigate the social, political, and economic, and artistic implications of country house.
  • Apply insights to modern social, political, and economic issues like gentrification, urban planning, and estate conservation.

Great For Students Thinking About

  • Intersection between architecture and social history.
  • Using fieldwork to design a research study.
  • Modern issue of housing, gentrification and class based societies.
  • Visiting several estates that represent over five hundred years of English history and culture.
  • Pursuing careers in history, architecture, art, urban planning, and the humanities.

Earn your certificate

After your amazing summer of discovery, we know that you’ll want to share your success with your family, friends and teachers back at home. We also know that you’ll want to understand from your ORA tutor what you did particularly well on your course, but also where there might be room for future learning and development.

After successfully completing your course, you’ll receive a graduation certificate, awarded at a memorable ceremony hosted for you and your parents on the final Friday of your summer school. We’ll also provide a detailed report card, highlighting all that you have achieved during your time with us, as well as some next steps for future success.

Learn from the world’s best minds

Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a new discovery at the cutting edge of science? Would you like to learn what it’s like to study in an Oxford tutorial, a Cambridge supervision, or in a top British boarding school? Or explore whether university study in your favourite subject is really for you?

Whatever your motivation, our exceptional, inspiring, world-leading teachers can help you achieve more this summer. Our amazing array of talented tutors includes Oxbridge academics, Ivy League lecturers, groundbreaking medical researchers, glittering industry leaders in film and fashion, acclaimed authors, and more!

We assemble our diverse faculty from all over the world, exclusively for you, so you only learn from the very best. Every tutor will guide you on your path to future greatness.

Join exciting trips and activities

At Oxford Royale Academy, we strive to offer a summer of fun and enjoyment alongside your academic immersion.

We can help you uncover Oxford’s secrets, from the best coffee shops to the dreamiest riverside parks, from Oxford’s very own castle to must-visit shops, galleries and museums. Alongside your new friends from around the world, you will enjoy a busy extra-curricular timetable, including a sophisticated graduation ceremony and dinner, guest talks from Oxford researchers and academics, excursions offering a glimpse of Britain’s past, and much more.

Useful Information

Arrival and Departure

Welcome to the Summer School Arrivals and Departures Hub. Here you can find all the information you need prior to departure including information about flights, transfer options and other important information regarding your arrival and departure.

Oxford Royale online learning

COVID-19 Response

As members of the British Safety Council, student safety is our top priority. Our coronavirus measures go beyond the latest UK government and Public Health England guidance, and as a minimum, guarantee a number of key features.

What to Bring

You will receive a Welcome Pack after you enrol. Your Welcome Pack will provide a full list of what to pack and which personal items and travel documents you will bring with you when you join the programme

Guest Speakers

We believe that the chance to talk frankly and openly with leading figures from the worlds of culture, media, sport and academia allows our students to develop both their confidence and their analytical skills. Each of our speakers presents on a topic that they are world experts on before fielding questions from our student audience.

Study in confidence