Review: Secret Houses of the Cotswolds by Jeremy Musson


A personal tour of twenty of the UK’s most beguiling castles, estates, palaces and manor houses in this much-loved area of western England, including Daylesford, Stanway, Sudeley Castle and Hilles House.

Author and architectural historian, Jeremy Musson, and Cotswolds-based photographer Hugo Rittson Thomas, offer privileged access to twenty houses, from castles and manor houses, as well as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mansions, revealing their history, architecture and interiors, in the company of their devoted owners.

In the footsteps of artists and designers including Humphry and George Repton, and Victorian visionary, William Morris, who inspired the arts and crafts movement, and others such as Detmar Blow, Norman Jewson, Clough Williams-Ellis and Oliver Hill, we find a series of fascinating country houses of different sizes and atmospheres, which have shaped the English identity.

Each house has their own story, but their distinctive honey-coloured stone walls, set amongst rolling hills, in different ways express the ideals of English life.

Most of the houses included here are privately owned and not usually open to the public. In this beautifully produced book, they can now be enjoyed through the eyes of their owners, as well as an experienced architectural historian, and an award-winning photographer.


A stunning look at some of the Cotswolds most gorgeous historical properties that are still standing today.

Beautiful photography illustrates the most unique features within the homes, some that are original to the structure, which have been beautifully maintained and preserved over time.

A lot of love has been shown to these properties which is a credit to the previous and current owners of these homes. I am passionate about historical preservation and to think how long some of these structures have been around – it is mind boggling. A great amount of time, money and effort would have been necessary to maintain these properties throughout time.

I loved learning a bit of the history of the houses and the current residents as well.

It is my dream to visit England, and this gorgeous book was a nice glimpse into what I only hope to see in person one day!

Thank you to Netgalley, Jeremy Musson, Hugo Rittson Thomas, and Quarto Publishing Group for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Books and Me!! · March 27

    looks like my kind of book – lots of houses to swoon over!

    Liked by 1 person

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