A historic house
can be a stately home
, the birthplace of a famous person, or a house with an interesting history. Houses were first thought of as historic
rather than just old
, during the early nineteenth century
. Government protection was first given during the late nineteenth century.
Historic homes are often eligible for special grant awards for preservation. What makes a historic home significant is often its architecture or its significance to the culture or history of an area. There are some organizations that offer services to research the history of your home, others such as ThatsMyOldHouse.com provide a respository for you to add your own memories and history of your home to the site, or search other's history.
Historic homes may still be inhabited, and should not be confused with historic house museums.
Notable English historic houses:
- Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire: Medieval fortified keep and house with state apartments.
- Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire: Vanbrugh's monument to the 1st Duke of Marlborough and England.
- Brighton Pavilion, Sussex: Prince Regent's Oriental palace.
- Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire: Elizabethan opulence round medieval core.
- Burton Agnes Hall, East Riding of Yorkshire: Late-Elizabethan house by Robert Smythson.
- Castle Howard, North Yorkshire: Vanbrugh's Baroque palace.
- Chatsworth House, Derbyshire: Ducal palace in parkland setting.
- Haddon Hall, Derbyshire: Medieval fortified hall house round courtyard.
- Hampton Court, West London: Palace of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, converted by Christopher Wren, Vanbrugh and William Kent.
- Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire: Greatest English prodigy house, built for Bess of Hardwick.
- Harewood House, West Yorkshire: Robert Adam palace altered by Charles Barry, Old Master collection.
- Holkham Hall, Norfolk: Masterpiece of Palladian revival, with original decoration.
- Kensington Palace, Central London: Christopher Wren palace, William Kent state rooms, Mary II of England's domestic apartments.
- Kingston Lacy, Dorset: Italian palazzo housing Grand Tour collections.
- Knole, Kent: Medieval palace of the Barons Sackville, cream of Elizabethan and Jacobean craftmanship.
- Parham House, Sussex: Elizabethan house barely altered, with collection of rare embroidery.
- Speke Hall, Lancashire: Elizabethan mansion, restored but largely as built.
- Syon House, West London: Robert Adam's greatest interiors in Thames-side mansion.
- Wilton House, Wiltshire: Palladian palace with Inigo Jones and James Wyatt interiors.
- Windsor Castle, Berkshire: Favoured home of the monarch, state rooms of all periods.
Notable Welsh historic houses:
- Castell Coch, South Glamorgan: Built on the foundations of a castle of the late 1200s by William Burges in 1871-91 as a summer residence for John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute.
- Erddig, Wrexham: Built in 1683-93, with wings added in the 1720s and a fascinating blend of later redecoration.
- Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd: The most impressive of the late Georgian and early Victorian pretend-castles, built in 1820-45 by Thomas Hopper for the Pennant family.
- Plas Mawr, Conwy: Described with considerable justification as the best-preserved Elizabethan town house in Britain, with a gatehouse added in 1585 to the house built in 1576-80 by Robert Wynn.
- Powis Castle, Powys: Built by the Prince of Powys in the late 1200s, with notable interiors from the 1580s, the late 1600s and early 1700s, and the early 1900s.
Notable Northern Irish historic houses:
Notable Scottish historic houses:
- Brodie Castle, Moray: Built in the 1560s, enlarged in the 1630s and 1820s, and with a splendid art collection.
- Culzean Castle, Ayrshire: Built between 1776 and 1792 by Robert Adam for the David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassilis, but both men died in 1792, leaving their work unfinished.
- Holmwood House, Glasgow: A picturesque suburban villa built in 1857-8 for papermill-owner James Couper, possibly the finest work of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson.
- Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute: One of the most splendid and extraordinary houses in Britain, built in 1878-1900 for the wealthiest man in Britain, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute.