A number of the houses selected as finalists have been used as film locations, a testament to their attractive characteristics. The award is being run by Country Life, in association with Savills.
The finalists have been split regionally into East, South East, South West and North & Central and the award judges will be visiting the properties over the next few weeks. Judges, chosen for their taste, flair and enthusiasm for country life, include Oscar-winning writer and creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes; director of OKA and designer Annabel Astor; racehorse trainer and Daily Telegraph columnist Charlie Brooks and pottery designer Emma Bridgewater.
Emma Bridgewater comments: “The perfect house has that sort of mysterious, back of the wardrobe quality that opens into a different world. For me, it’s not about splendid isolation or grand scale – it can be one of those ivy-clad houses in north Oxford near to where I grew up or a country house. It’s more about that strange mood that some houses have which gives a sense of completeness. The sense of transition that takes you out of the humdrum into somewhere special and that can happen regardless of scale or grandeur – it’s rather magical.”
Arabella Youens, property editor of Country Life, said: “Our award has certainly captured the imagination and we have received some outstanding entries, many with fascinating stories and with a special place in the hearts of the people who nominated them.”
Crispin Holborow, head of Savills country department, said: “The entries have demonstrated the extraordinary number of exceptional family houses we have in England, from medieval to modern. We now have to define the quality that will secure the title of England’s Favourite House. Will that be architecture, its history, or setting? The judges will decide!”
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