17 SEPTEMBER 1921, Page 3

At present inhabited houses, however important, cannot be scheduled as

ancient monuments. The great country houses which are maintained at an ever-increasing cost are landmarks in our history of which all Englishmen are proud. But nothing can be done for their preservation by the department so long as they are used for habitation. Haddon Hall, which has for many years been kept as an empty show-place by the Duke of Rutland, might be scheduled if it were necessary, but other Tudor and Jacobean houses of almost equal charm do not come within the scope of the law because they are still in use. There are many smaller houses of great antiquity, in our towns and villages, that could ill be spared. The State, however, can do nothing to protect them against injudicious owners or ignorant boards of governors. Provided always that the owners of such buildings were compensated, directly or indirectly, there is a good deal to be said for the proposal that inhabited as well as uninhabited houses of historic or artistic interest should be placed under the supervision of the Office of Works, which has shown much tact and good sense in the use of its powers over ancient monuments.