Northamptonshire by Bridget Cherry
Some of England's grandest country houses are to be found in this prosperous rural midland county with its excellent local building stone from the limestone belt. The Elizabethan Renaissance Kirby Hall, the late seventeenth century French-inspired Boughton, Hawksmoor's stately Baroque Easton Neston and the interiors of Althorp provide a fascinating survey of changing taste through the centuries. The great houses are complemented by smaller buildings of great character, supreme among them Sir Thomas Tresham's eccentric and ingenious Triangular Lodge at Rushton. Of no less interest in this county of spires and squires are the fine village churches, from Early Saxon Brixworth to the noble early Gothic buildings which so inspired the Victorians.