Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,500 WORD ESSAY  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 HOUR CLOSED EXAM  70%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   2 HOUR CLOSED EXAM PLUS MISSING WRITTEN WORK  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Assess critically the body of historical knowledge relating to this period and topic.

Comprehend the historical debates relating to landownership and the gentry during this period.

Express understanding and discuss related issues through writing in an academic context.

Work independently and as part of a group and take an active part in group discussions (not formally assessed).

Brief description

This module will adopt a thematic approach to the history of the landed gentry in England and Wales towards the end of the long eighteenth century. Themes to be discussed include the rise of new wealth and the role of the gentry in society in relation to the idea of patriarchy. The module will also examine how closely the gentry adhered to this code of gentlemanly behaviour. The gentry's home, social life and public duties will be explored as well as the ways they were depicted in contemporary art and literature. The question of the decline of the gentry class will also be considered.


This module introduces students to the wealth of historical literature on the topic of the landed gentry during part of the long eighteenth century. It helps broaden the provision available to students at Level 1, especially for those studying the Medieval and Early Modern degree scheme.


1. Introduction to the period
Section 1: Economy and country house
2. Fabric of society
3. New wealth
4. The mansions and estates
5. The gentry family
6. How were country houses and estates run?
7. Patriarchy
8. The relationship between landlord and tenant
Section 2: The role of the gentry beyond the country house
9. Politics
10. Public service
11. Religion
12. Recreation
13. Vice and scandal
14. The Industrial Revolution
15. Contemporary visual culture
16. Contemporary literary culture
17. Decline of the gentry?
18. Concluding remarks

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Improve their listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); exercise negotiation and persuasion skills; evaluate group activities and own contribution.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Beckett, J. V. (1986.) The aristocracy in England 1660-1914 /J.V. Beckett. Basil Blackwell Primo search Christie, Christopher (2000) The British Country House in the Eighteenth Century Manchester University Press Primo search Girouard, Mark (1978) Life in the English Country House Yale University Press Primo search Habakkuk, H John (1994) Marriage, Debt and the Estate System: English landownership, 1650-1950 Oxford University Press Primo search Howell, David W. (1986.) Patriarchs and parasites : the gentry of South-West Wales in the Eighteenth century /David W. Howell. University of Wales Press Primo search Humphreys, Melvin (1996) The Crisis of Community: Montgomeryshire,1680-1815 University of Wales Press Primo search Langford, Paul (1989) A Polite and Commercial People: England, 1727-1783 Oxford : Clarendon Press Primo search Mingay, G. E. (1994.) Land and society in England 1750-1980 /G.E. Mingay. Longman Primo search Mingay, G. E. (1976.) The gentry :the rise and fall of a ruling class /G.E. Mingay. Longman Primo search Stone, Lawrence, Stone, Jeanne C Fawtier (1983) An Open Elite? England, 1540-1880 Oxford : Clarendon Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4