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Flashing the garter

Lecture at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire for the Centre for the Study of the Country House, University of Leicester, Tuesday 19th October

Issued on 28 September 2010

The power, loyalty and political machinations behind the Order of the Garter will be revealed at the next lecture in the highly popular series of Lamport Hall Study Days, held in conjunction with the University of Leicester Centre for the Study of the Country House, on Tuesday 19th October.

Dr Lisa Ford, Associate Head of Research at the Yale Center for British Art and an expert on Early Modern British History and Tudor court politics, will discuss the importance of The Garter as a symbol of monarchical power and courtly loyalty from the Tudor dynasty through the early 19th century.

In her lecture, entitled ‘Flashing the Garter: the Insignia of the Order as display of power in the country house’, Dr Ford will take a sideways look away from the royal court to examine how peers and the gentry honoured with the Garter used it in the embellishment of their houses, tombs and their persons.

Only a small elite could display The Garter. An examination of how and where they displayed it, the value they set on these displays, and the proliferation of the image in various media provides a cultural and visual history of the order under the Tudor, Stuart and Hanoverian dynasties.

Dr Ford will track the changes in Garter dress and depiction, from the Tudors through the early 19th century, using the country house and parish chapels as sources of these images.

‘Flashing the Garter’ is one in a series of study days which take place in the elegance of a Grade I listed Northamptonshire country house and provide in-depth views of topics related to the country house and its culture, given by visiting national and international experts.

Lamport Hall, the home of the Isham family from 1560 to 1976, was developed from a Tudor Manor during the Commonwealth and is well 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.

Dr Phillip Lindley, Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of the Country House at the University of Leicester, commented: “The Study Days at Lamport Hall are one of the key ways in which we publicise research and bring some of the top speakers in their field to Lamport Hall, for the Centre for the Study of the Country House.”

Mr George Drye, Executive Director of the Lamport Hall Preservation Trust, added: “The English country house is such a gift to the world in terms of cultural heritage and yet there was almost nowhere it could be studied. What we have gained from the collaboration with the University of Leicester is an association with a world class organisation, enabling us to provide educational opportunities on a world stage, with lectures from the very best people in their subject.”

The Lamport Hall study days, which are allied to the highly successful Master’s programme, ‘The Country House: Art, History & Literature, are open to the public by prior booking.

Study Days run from 10.30am to 3.15pm and include three lectures and lunch. The cost is £40 per day. For further information or to make a booking please contact Mrs Carol Charles, Centre for the Study of the Country House, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2866, email

Lamport Hall is open to the public on certain days. For details see:, and for more information on the Centre for the Study of the Country House at the University of Leicester see:

Notes to Editors: Further details are available as follows: Dr Phillip Lindley, Founding Director, Centre for the Study of the Country House, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2866, email

Mr George Drye, Executive Director, Lamport Hall Preservation Trust, tel 01604 686 272, email


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