Art, Religion and Antiquities in the Reign of Charles I


Lamport Hall Study Day in association with the University of Leicester Centre for the Study of the Country House. Tuesday 26 July, Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. Open to the public by prior booking.

For many people the time of Charles I is synonymous with the English Civil War, yet the first fifteen years of his reign were peaceful and prosperous and saw the emergence of an unusual mixture of artistic activities. Professor Graham Parry, Emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of York, will give the second in this year’s series of Lamport Hall Study Days, looking at ‘Art, Religion and Antiquities in the Reign of Charles I’. “After eighty years of austerity,” Professor Parry writes, “the arts of religion were revived and elaborated, amid considerable controversy. “Secular painting attained an unprecedented sophistication.

The study and collecting of all manner of antiquities became fashionable and brought scholars and prominent members of the gentry together with a common desire to vitalize the past and realize an ideal of life devoted to public duty and personal cultivation.” The Study Day runs from 10-30am to 3.15pm and consists of three lectures and lunch, in the elegant setting of Lamport Hall, the Northamptonshire home of the Isham family from 1560 to 1976. Topics to be discussed are: Clerics Quarrelling over Art: the Decoration of the Laudian Church; Van Dyck at the Court of Charles I; and The Collecting of Antiquities in mid-17th Century England. Professor Parry is an expert in literature, antiquarianism, ecclesiastical history, and court culture under the early Stuarts. He is particularly fascinated by seventeenth-century architecture and the work of Inigo Jones, the paintings of Van Dyck and the prints and drawings of Wenceslaus Hollar.

He has also published widely on seventeenth-century poetry and the work of John Milton. Lamport Hall was developed from a Tudor Manor during the Commonwealth, and is now best known for its classical frontage, begun by John Webb in 1655 and completed in the eighteenth century, to the design of Francis Smith of Warwick. The Hall is open to the public on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and Bank Holiday Sundays and Mondays from Easter.

For details see:, and for more information on the Centre for the Study of the Country House at the University of Leicester see: The cost of the Study Day is £40.

For further information or to make a booking please contact Lucy Byrne, Centre for English Local History, Universityof Leicester, tel 0116 252 2762