20 February 2020

Slavery, public history and the British country house

Many country houses in the south west of England have historic links to slavery.

Bristol merchants moving out of the city to larger rural homes, in addition to the more ‘indirect’ wealth derived by families through slave-based economies or colonial careers, has created a complex connection between elite rural residences in the West Country and the forced labour of enslaved African people in British colonies.

Despite such connections, present-day interpretation of these sites is limited and complicated by the ways in which the country house is viewed by many as an iconic emblem of a quintessentially “British” heritage.

This talk explores the issues and challenges surrounding the public history of slavery at British country houses through the case of Dyrham Park (National Trust), South Gloucestershire.

Speaker: Dr Jessica Moody is Lecturer in Public History at the University of Bristol.

This is a UWE Regional History Centre talk.