Biography

Jeremy MussonArchitectural Historian, freelance since 2007, writer, editor and presenter: recognised authority on British country houses and a skilled but accessible communicator in this field on tv, radio and as print journalist, author and lecturer; since 2007 also consultant on historic buildings and founder of Wheatsheaf Press specialising in histories of significant houses; TV presenter and co-writer of 14 programmes BBC 2 series The Curious House Guest 2005 – 2007 (incl. Burghley, Holkham, Chillingham)

Download a pdf of my Biography/CV

  • 1998-2007    Architectural Editor, Country Life – writer and commissioning editor
  • 1995-1998    Architectural Writer, Country Life – writer and arts editor
  • 1993-1995    National Trust, Assistant Historic Buildings Rep (East Anglia) curator
  • 1990-1993    Architectural Adviser, Victorian Society

Current research and applied interest areas: 

  • The English country house, post 1600, architecture, collections and household 
  • The influence of the Grand Tour on the 18th-century English country house interior 
  • The country house and theatre: theatricals and theatre structures 
  • The country house and literature (especially 18th and 19th century) 
  • Furnishing the Regency home (with reference to Moggerhanger House by Soane) 
  • Antiquarianism, and the philosophy of restoration and conservation of buildings 
  • Changes in ownership and the reputation of English country houses post world war II 
  • The Messel family and Nymans in Sussex: remodelled in manorial style in the 1920s

 Publications:

Books, as author

  • English Country House Interiors (Rizzoli International, New York 2011)
  • English Ruins (Merrell, London and New York 2011)
  • The House on the Hill (Wadhurst Park, Wadhurst 2010)
  • Up and Down Stairs: the history of the country house servant (John Murray, London 2009)
  • The Country Houses of Sir John Vanbrugh (Aurum, London 2008)
  • How to Read A Country House (Ebury, London 2006)
  • Plasterwork (Aurum Press, London 2000)
  • The English Manor House (Aurum, London 1999)

 Other Publications, as contributing author 

  • “The Magic of Messel and the Theatre of the Interior” & “Messel as Interpreter of the Caribbean Palladian style” in Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design, Thomas Messel, ed. (Rizzoli International, New York 2011), 86-141 & 144-223 
  • “A Dainty Piece of Ornament: The Architecture of the Former Middlesex Guildhall” in The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom: history, art, architecture, Chris Miele, ed, (Merrel, London 2010), 72-97 
  • “The English Country House and its collections”, in The English Country House, Mary Miers (ed) (Rizzoli International, New York 2009), 225-227 
  • “Learning to Love Again: the power of affection”, Association for Studies in the Conservation of Historic Buildings, Transactions, Vol 30, 2007, 24-27 
  • “Keene, Henry”, in New Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2004, Vol 31, 32-33 
  • “Has a Paint Pot Done All this?” The Studio House of Sir John Millais, Bt” in John Everett Millais: Beyond the Pre-Raphaelite Movement: Studies in British Art 7, Debra Mancoff, ed. (Yale University Press, New Haven 2000) 95-118 
  • “Artists’ Houses” and “Grottoes and Shellwork”, in Encyclopedia of Interior Design, (Fitzroy Dearborn, London and Chicago 1997), Joanna Banham ed, Vol 1, 58-60, 533-534

Also I was series editor (1998-2007) of books published “From the Archives of Country Life”, responsible for commissioning: Nicholas Cooper, The Jacobean Country House, J.M.Robinson, The Regency Country House, Eileen Harris, The Country Houses of Robert Adam, Michael Hall, The Victorian Country House, David Watkin, The Classical Country House, Clive Aslet, The Arts and Crafts Country House. 

Select Country Life articles since 2007

  • “Wenlock Abbey, Shropshire”, 2011, June 1, 102-06
  • “At Home with the Bachelor Duke: Chatsworth, Derbyshire”, 2011, August 17, 33-39
  • “Burghley and Brown: Burghley House”, 2011, August 24, 32-37
  • “In Pursuit of the Picturesque: Bridehead, Dorset”, 2010, July 14, 102-107
  • “A Triumphant Return: The Marble Hall, Stowe”, 2009, 58-61
  • “Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire”, 2008, April 17, 94-98
  • “King’s Weston, Bristol”, 2008, November 26, 70-73
  • “Apethorpe Reborn: Apethorpe Hall”, 2007, February 1, 92-96
  • “Ninfa, Lazio”, 2007, September 20, 108-113 

Lecturing and curating 

  • I have given lectures on Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor to undergraduates in the history of art, at the University of Cambridge (in academic year 2007/8), as well as supervisions in art history (year 2007/8) for various colleges, as well as a presentation on the philosophy of conservation (2006, with Ian McClure of the Hamilton Kerr); I also lecture to theology and art history undergraduates at Kings College, London (since 2009) on ‘Hawksmoor’s London Churches’, and am a regular lecturer for the Attingham Summer School (2007-11); I was an external examiner for the University of Leicester, country house studies diploma, 2004-2007; I am hon tutor to the SPAB Plunket Scholars, advising on their three month periods of study relating to the English country house (2008-11). I have spoken at conferences at Leighton House, Tate Gallery,Victoria and Albert Museum and the National University of Ireland, and I led the ‘Surrey Country Houses’ study day for the Victorian Society Summer School (1998-2000). I was also co-tutor for the Paul Mellon study day on ‘Vanbrugh at Castle Howard’ (2010). I am also a regular lecturer for Royal Oak, National Trust, NACF, English Speaking Union and others.
  • I was also guest curator of an exhibition of architectural drawings, In pursuit of Antiquity: drawings from the Giants of British neo-Classicism at Sir John Soane’s Museum, in 2008; and a co-curator exhibition of photographs of ‘The Country Houses of Robert Adam’ in 2007, with Eileen Harris, at the Georgian Group in London.
  • I have published articles on historical subjects in Heritage Today, British Art Journal, World of Interiors, Country Life, The Lady, The Field, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail & was presenter of Radio 3 series Brick and Baroque in 1994/95, on late 17th century architecture in England. 
  • I am an Associate of Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd and an architectural consultant for the Red Book Agency, and as a historical buildings consultant have worked on eighteenth and nineteenth century London houses and the Old Bishop’s Palace, Ely (16th and late 17th century).

 Public committees

  • 2012                   Trustee, Stowe House Preservation Trust
  • 2011-                 Member, Advisory Board, American Friends of British Art
  • 2009-                Trustee, Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust
  • 2008-                Member of the Fabric Advisory Committee, Ely Cathedral
  • 2007-2011      Trustee, Pevsner Architectural Guide Trust (Buildings of England)
  • 2005-2011      Chairman, Peer Review Panel of the Churches Conservation Trust
  • 1996-2002      Member, Council for the Care of Churches, Main Committee
  • 1996-2002      Member, CCC, Sculpture and Furnishings Subcommittee
  • 1992-2002      Member, Victorian Society Buildings Subcommittee

 Member, Society of Architectural Historians of GB, & Brother of the Artworkers Guild, since 2007

 Education:

1987-1989  Warburg Institute, M.Phil, The Classical Tradition (The Renaissance) – history and art history; 1984-1987  University College, London, LL B (Hons) – law; 1984  Anglo-Italian Instutute in Rome (Samuel Kress scholar)