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Phil Spencer returns for a grand tour of four of our country’s finest – and most extravagant – country houses, to uncover the dramatic stories of their creation.

Phil will be given VIP access and a key to the archive rooms to delve into the secrets of the house, including eye watering building costs.

Taking each house back to the drawing board, Phil is given unprecedented access into fascinating stately home archives, to reveal the incredible ambition of the house’s creators, as well as the monumental quantities of materials, labour – and money – involved in turning their flights of fancy into bricks and mortar.

In each episode, Phil lifts the façade of a house unique in its ambition, scale and taste. On his journey, Phil will visit the decadent stately homes of Longleat, Belvoir Castle, Blenheim Palace and Houghton Hall.

With a chance to try his hand at craft and restoration, and insight from the current custodians, (in many cases descendants of the original owners) Phil will discover how these homes became seats of power – and play – and what the buildings and estates are really like to own.

Finally he attempts to put a figure on the original building costs and what they represent in today’s money.

Phil says; “It’s an absolute privilege to work on this series again and to have behind the scenes access to the houses, families and people that live and work there and to have an understanding of what it takes to look after these stately homes. It’s fascinating to delve into the architectural history to discover what it took to build these homes, and the stories behind those that lived there.”

Phil’s Stately Homes (4X60’) was commissioned by Features Commissioning Executive Clemency Green. Of the commission she says; ”I am delighted that once again Phil is going behind the scenes of Britain’s stunning stately homes, to reveal their astonishing history and the captivating personal stories of power, money and romance they hold within their walls”.

Executive Producer Marcus Stephenson adds, “We’ve relished the chance to explore four more great British houses with Phil to tell their dramatic life stories and reveal, for the first time in many cases, the mind boggling costs behind their creation.”