Workshop: ‘Forty Years of English Heritage: The Legacy of “The Destruction of the Country House”‘

One-day symposium: ‘Forty Years of English Heritage: The Legacy of “The Destruction of the Country House”’

1 October 2014, Strand Campus, King’s College London

October 2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of the staging of ‘The Destruction of the Country House’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  This was a polemical and influential exhibition, which arguably not just profoundly changed popular attitudes to ‘stately homes’ and their status as part of English history and culture, but also enshrined the conservation of the built heritage as a cornerstone of government arts policy.

This symposium will consider not just the significance of this exhibition and its immediate impact on heritage policy, politics and practice in the UK, but also the ways in which the heritage sector, and what we might broadly term ‘heritage discourse’ have developed and changed since the 1970s.  It will pose critical questions around issues such as the definition and limits of national heritage, who does or should own it, and how should history be represented in, and utilised by the present?
Speakers include:

David Adshead – Chief Curator, National Trust
Pamela Cox – Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and writer and presenter of BBC documentary series, Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs and Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter
Professor Penny Sparke of the School of Art & Design History at Kingston University
Jo Littler, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Industries, City University
Roshi Naidoo, Heritage Consultant and Director of Egino
Oliver Cox, Knowledge Exchange Fellow – Thames Valley Country House Partnership Project, Oxford University

Places are free but limited.  To reserve your place, please contact Ruth Adams, Lecturer in Cultural & Creative Industries, King’s College London at

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