Call for Papers: Gowers at 70: The Fate of the Country House since 1950

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Historic Houses and University of Oxford - with generous support from the Historic Houses Foundation - will be running a one-day symposium in June 2020, to mark the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Gowers Report on the future of Britain’s buildings of ‘outstanding historic or architectural interest’ (1950). This academic conference will consider the report’s legacy for the conservation and use of historic houses, both independently owned and owned by organisations including the National Trust and English Heritage, seventy years on.

Our Call for Papers invites researchers and heritage professionals to contribute 20-minute papers that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

• The post-war landscape of built heritage preservation

• How government policy towards country house preservation has changed since 1950

• How country houses have fared in relation to other types of heritage asset, such as churches, monuments, and industrial buildings

• International comparisons to built heritage preservation policy in Britain

• The role of country houses in popular culture and the collective imagination after the War

The symposium will culminate in a roundtable discussion on the future of historic house conservation, reflecting on what a Gowers Report for the twenty-first century might consider to be the main issues facing historic houses today.

Paper proposals should include a 300-word abstract and a 100-word biography, and should be emailed to by 17 February 2020. For any questions about this Call for Papers and/or the symposium, please contact Elena Porter (University of Oxford & Historic Houses DPhil researcher) or Emma Robinson (Director of Policy & Public Affairs at Historic Houses) via

Download the Gowers at 70 Call for Papers pdf here