Amanda Herries

A paean to the British passion for our very own ‘castles’

‘Phlogiston’ is an interesting, if obsolete, word. Of Greek origin, it referred to the ‘fire-making’ quality thought to be present in, among other things, the ashes gathered by London dustmen. In the mid-18th century these ashes were mixed with earth and even ‘excrements taken out of the necessary houses’ to create the vast numbers of

Scotland’s top ten

It is no mean feat to produce a publication of the type that used to be described as ‘a coffee-table book’, devoted to the subject of great Scottish houses, and manage to find a fresh slant on a genre that has illustrated and described country houses for decades.  James Knox and his photographer, James Fennell,

Caroline’s back in town

The Sloane is dead — but long live the Sloane. Her mother, Caroline, and father, Henry — the original Hooray — may be in their natural retirement homes in the Shires or Scotland along with the family dog snug by the Aga in the cosy kitchen, but she, we now know, using her native skills,

Not to the manor born

Six years ago I embarked on a little redecoration of my husband’s family house, over 200 years old in south- west Scotland. ‘Ah’, said a knowing friend from the Highlands, now a neighbour, who would soon embrace the same task, as we ripped up floorboards, struggled with ancient heating systems and filled skips; ‘ah’ she