Proud Of The Prodigy!

  • The Prodigyare anEnglishelectronic musicgroup formed byLiam Howlettin 1990. The current members include Liam Howlett (keyboardist and composer),Keith Flint(dancer and vocalist), Leo Crabtree (drums), Rob Holliday (lead guitarist) andMaxim(MCand vocalist).Leeroy Thornhill(dancer and occasional live keyboardist) was a member of the band from 1990 to 2000, as was a female dancer and vocalist.
  • The Prodigy is a 2019 horror film directed by Nicholas McCarthy, and written by Jeff Buhler.It stars Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott and Colm Feore.The plot centers around a child whose disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural being has taken control of him, forcing his parents to investigate whether sinister forces are involved.
  • Prodigy math game Dark Tower floor 100 and Earth Tower EPIC VIDEO!!!!! This Video Will Make Every Jack Feel Proud. 09:20 When A Luxurious Life Can't Be Forbidden!

On Sunday at the BET Awards, Havoc and Lil’ Kim paid tribute to Prodigy while presenting an award. “This week, hip-hop suffered a painful loss, with the sudden passing of our brother, Prodigy. The Prodigy's second album, 'Music for the Jilted Generation,' earned the group its first of seven UK number one albums when it was released to positive reviews in 1994.

(Redirected from Prodigy houses)
Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Longleat House, Wiltshire
Burghley House, Cambridgeshire
North facade Hatfield House
Hardwick Hall, built 1590–97
The hall screen at Wollaton Hall
The Great High Chamber on the top floor of Hardwick Hall

Prodigy houses are large and showy English country houses built by courtiers and other wealthy families, either 'noble palaces of an awesome scale'[1] or 'proud, ambitious heaps'[2] according to taste. The prodigy houses stretch over the periods of Tudor, Elizabethan, and Jacobean architecture, though the term may be restricted to a core period of roughly 1570 to 1620.[3] Many of the grandest were built with a view to housing Elizabeth I and her large retinue as they made their annual royal progress around her realm. Many are therefore close to major roads, often in the English Midlands.

The term originates with the architectural historian Sir John Summerson, and has been generally adopted. He called them '..the most daring of all English buildings.'[4] The houses fall within the broad style of Renaissance architecture, but represent a distinctive English take on the style, mainly reliant on books for their knowledge of developments on the Continent. Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) was already dead before the prodigy houses reached their peak, but his much more restrained classical style did not reach England until the work of Inigo Jones in the 1620s. For ornament, French and Flemish Northern Mannerist decoration was more influential than Italian.[5]

Elizabeth I travelled through southern England in annual summer 'progresses', staying at the houses of wealthy courtiers; however she never went north of Worcester or west of Bristol,[6] though by the end of her reign there were many large houses beyond these self-imposed boundaries. The hosts were expected to house the monarch in style, and provide sufficient accommodation for about 150 travelling members of the court, for whom temporary buildings might need to be erected.[7] Elizabeth was not slow to complain if she felt her accommodation had not been appropriate, and did so even about two of the largest prodigy houses, Theobalds House and Old Gorhambury House (both now destroyed).[8]

Proud Of The Prodigy Series

Partly as a result of this imperative, but also general increasing wealth, there was an Elizabethan building boom, with large houses built in the most modern styles by courtiers, wealthy from acquired monastic estates, who wished to display their wealth and status.[9] A characteristic was the large area of glass – a new feature that superseded the need for easily defended external walls and announced the owners' wealth. Hardwick Hall, for example, was proverbially described as 'Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall.'[10] Many other smaller prodigy houses were built by businessmen and administrators, as well as long-established families of the peerage and gentry. The large Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire was built between 1593 and 1600 by Robert Smythson for Thomas Tailor, who was the recorder to the Bishop of Lincoln; 'Tailor was a lawyer and therefore rich' says Simon Jenkins.[11]

Some recent uses of the term extend the meaning to describe large ostentatious houses in the United States of later periods, such as colonial mansions in Virginia, first so described by the American writer Cary Carson.[12]


In many respects the style of the houses varies greatly, but consistent features are a love of glass, a high elevation, symmetrical exteriors, consistency between all sides of the building, a rather square plan, often with tower pavilions at the corners that rise above the main roofline, and a decorated skyline. Altogether '..a strange amalgam of exuberant pinnacles and turrets, native Gothic mullioned windows, and Renaissance decoration.'[13] Many houses stand alone, with stables and other outbuildings at a discreet distance. Glass was then an expensive material, and its use on a large scale a demonstration of wealth. The large windows required mullions, normally in stone even in houses mainly in brick. For the main structure, stone is preferred, often as a facing over brick, but some buildings use mostly brick, for example Hatfield House, following the precedent of Hampton Court and other earlier houses. Though there were often reminiscences of the medieval castle, the houses were exceptionally without defences, compared to contemporary Italian and French equivalents.

To have two internal courtyards, requiring a very large building, was a status symbol, found at Audley End, Blickling Hall, and others. By the end of the Elizabethan period this sprawling style, essentially developing the form of late medieval buildings like Knole in Kent (which has a total of 7 courtyards), and many Oxbridge colleges, was giving way to more compact high-rising structures with a coherent and dramatic structural plan, making the whole form of the building visible from outside the house. Hardwick Hall, Burghley House, and on a smaller scale Wollaton Hall, exemplify this trend.[14] The outer exteriors of the house are more decorated than internal exteriors such as courtyards, the reverse of the usual priority in medieval houses. The common E and H-shaped plans, and in effect incorporating an imposing gatehouse into the main facade, rather than placing it across an initial courtyard, increased the visibility of the most grandly decorated parts of the exterior.[15]

The classical orders were often used as decoration, piled up one above the other on the storeys over the main entrance. But, with a few exceptions such as Kirby Hall,[16] columns were restricted to such individual features; in other buildings such as the Bodleian Library similar 'Towers of the Five Orders' sit at the centre of frankly Gothic facades. At Longleat and Wollaton shallow pilasters are used across the facades. A crib-book, The First and Chief Grounds of Architecture by John Shute (1563) had been commissioned or sponsored by 'Protector Somerset', John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and is recorded in the libraries of many important clients of buildings, along with Sebastiano Serlio's Architettura, initially in Italian or another language until 1611, when Robert Peake published four of the volumes in English.[17] The heavily-illustrated books on ornament by the Netherlander Hans Vredeman de Vries (1560s onwards) and German Wendel Dietterlin (1598) supplied much of the Northern Mannerist decorative detail such as strapwork. It is evident from surviving letters that courtiers took a keen and competitive interest in architectural matters.[18]


Inside, most houses still had a large hall in the medieval style, often with a stone or wood screen at one end. But this was only used for eating in by the servants, except on special occasions. The main room for the family to eat and live in was the great chamber, usually on the first floor (above the ground floor), a continuation of late medieval developments. In the 16th century a withdrawing room was usually added between the great chamber and the principal bedroom, as well as the long gallery. The parlour was another name for a more private room, and increasingly there were a number of these in larger houses, where the immediate family would now usually eat,[19] and where they might retreat entirely in cold weather. Although the first modern corridor in England was probably built in this period, in 1579, they remained rare, and houses continued to have most rooms only accessible through other rooms, with the most intimate spaces of the family at the end of a suite.[20]

Staircases became wide and elaborate, and normally made of oak; Burghley and Hardwick are exceptions using stone.[21] The new concept of a large long gallery was an important space,[13] and many houses had spaces for entertaining on the top floor, whether small rooms in towers on the roof, or the very large top-floor rooms at Hardwick and Wollaton. Meanwhile, the servants lived on the ground floor. This might be seen as a lingering memory of the medieval castle, where domestic spaces were often placed high above the soldiery, and viewpoints were highly functional, and is a feature rarely found in subsequent large houses for two centuries or more. At Hardwick the windows increase in size as the storeys rise up, reflecting the increasing status of the rooms.[22] In several houses the mostly flat roof itself was part of the reception spaces, with banqueting houses in the towers that were only accessible from 'the leads', and a layout that allowed walking around to admire the views.[23]


The designers are often unclear, and the leading figures had a background in one of the specialisms of building. Sometimes owners played a part in the detailed design, though the age of the gentleman amateur architect mostly came later. Few original drawings survive, though there are some by the architect-mason Robert Smythson (1535–1614) who was an important figure; many houses at least show his influence. Robert Lyminge was in charge of Hatfield and Blickling. John Thorpe laid the foundation stone of Kirby Hall as a five-year old (his father was chief mason, and children were often asked to perform this ritual) and is associated with Charlton House, Longford Castle, Condover Hall and the original Holland House, and perhaps Rushton Hall and Audley End. The demand for skilled senior builders, able to design and manage projects or parts of them, exceeded supply, and, at least in the largest houses, they appear to have been usually given a great deal of freedom in deciding the actual design by their mainly absentee clients.[24]


Château de Chambord of François I of France (built 1519–1547)
Detail of Joris Hoefnagel's 1568 watercolour of the south front of Nonsuch Palace
Mentmore Towers, 1852-54

The first 'prodigy house' might be said to be Henry VII's Richmond Palace, completed in 1501 but now destroyed. But as a royal palace it does not strictly fit the definition. Hampton Court Palace, built by Cardinal Wolsey but taken over by the king on his fall, is certainly an example. The trend continued through the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth, and into the reign of James I, when it reached its height. Henry was a prolific builder himself, though little of his work survives, but the prudent Elizabeth (like her siblings) built nothing herself, instead encouraging her courtiers to ' on a scale which in the past would have been seen as a dynastic threat.'[25]

Others see the original Somerset House in the Strand, London as the first prodigy house, or at least the first English attempt at a thoroughly and consistently classical style.[26] With some other Châteaux of the Loire Valley, the Château de Chambord of François I of France (built 1519–1547) had many features of the English houses, and certainly influenced Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace.[27]

Important political families such as the Cecils and Bacons were serial builders of houses. These newly-risen families were typically the most frenetic builders.[28] Sites were chosen for their potential convenience for royal progresses, rather than being the centre of landholdings, which were looked after by agents, or any local political powerbase.[29]

The term prodigy house ceases to be used for houses built after about 1620. Despite some features of more strictly classical houses like Wilton House (rebuilding begun 1630) continuing those of the prodigy house, the term is not used of them. Much later houses like Houghton Hall and Blenheim Palace show a lingering fondness for elements of the 16th-century prodigy style.[30]

In the 19th century Jacobethan revivals began, most spectacularly at Harlaxton Manor, which Anthony Salvin began in 1837. This manages to impart a Baroque swagger to the Northern Mannerist vocabulary.[31]Mentmore Towers, by Joseph Paxton, is an enormous revival of a Smythson-type style, and like Westonbirt House (Lewis Vulliamy, 1860s) and Highclere Castle (Sir Charles Barry 1839–42, the setting for Downton Abbey), is something of an inflated Wollaton.[32] The royal Sandringham House in Norfolk includes prodigy elements in its mixed styles. Apart from private houses, elements of the prodigy style were popular for at least the exteriors of all other types of public buildings, and office buildings designed to impress.

Many of the houses were later demolished, in the English Civil War or other times, and many smothered by later rebuilding. But the period retained a prestige, especially for families who rose to prominence during it, and in many the exteriors at least were largely retained. The north fronts of The Vyne and Lyme Park are examples of a slightly incongruous mixture of the Elizabethan and Palladian in a single facade.[33]



The rear of Audley End
Longford Castle, built on a triangular plan
The ruins of Old Gorhambury House

The houses attracted criticism from the first, surprisingly often from their owners. The flattering poem To Penshurst by Ben Jonson (1616), contrasts Penshurst Place, a large and important late medieval house that was extended in a similar style under Elizabeth, with prodigy houses:[34]

Proud Of The Prodigy!

Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show,
Of touch or marble; nor canst boast a row
Of polished pillars, or a roof of gold;
Thou hast no lantern, whereof tales are told,
Or stair, or courts; but stand’st an ancient pile, ..
And though thy walls be of the country stone,
They’re reared with no man’s ruin, no man’s groan;
There’s none that dwell about them wish them down;
But all come in, the farmer and the clown, ..
Now, Penshurst, they that will proportion thee
With other edifices, when they see
Those proud, ambitious heaps, and nothing else,
May say their lords have built, but thy lord dwells.


Though the style became dominant for very large houses from around 1570, there were alternatives. At Kenilworth Castle, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester did not want to lose the historic royal associations of his building, and from 1563 modernised and extended it to harmonize the old and new,[36] though the expanses of glass still impressed Midlanders. Bolsover Castle, Broughton Castle, Haddon Hall and Carew Castle in Wales were other sympathetic expansions of a medieval castle. The vernacularhalf-timbered style retained some popularity for gentry houses like Speke Hall and Little Moreton Hall, mostly in areas short of good building stone.

Earlier, Compton Wynyates (begun c. 1481, greatly extended 1515–1525) was a resolutely unsymmetrical jumble of essentially medieval styles, including prominent half-timbering on the gables of the facade.[37] It also nestles in a hollow, as medieval houses often did, avoiding the worst of the wind. In contrast, prodigy houses, like castles before them, often deliberately chose exposed sites where they could command the landscape (Wollaton, Hardwick); their owners mostly did not anticipate being there in winter.


Essentially intact[edit]

(especially on the exterior)

Burghley House, Cambridgeshire
Longleat House, Wiltshire
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Longford Castle, Wiltshire
Castle Ashby House, Northamptonshire
Montacute House, Somerset
Bramshill House, Hampshire
Aston Hall, Birmingham
Charlton Park, Wiltshire
Barrington Court, Somerset, early Elizabethan E plan
Astley Hall, Chorley, Lancashire
Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire
Fountains Hall, North Yorkshire, built with stone from Fountains Abbey next door
Charlton House, London, relatively modest, to house James I's young son
East Barsham Manor, Norfolk
Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire (exterior)

Early Henrician examples[edit]

Hampton Court Palace
Hengrave Hall, Suffolk[38]
Sutton Place, Surrey


Audley End, Essex, part destroyed
Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire, part destroyed shell
Layer Marney Hall, Essex, Henrician and only ever part-built
Berry Pomeroy, Devon, Built by the Seymours but never completed[39]

Now destroyed[edit]

Nonsuch Palace, Surrey, a royal palace of Henry VIII, now destroyed
Theobalds House[40]
Holdenby House
Old Gorhambury House, Hertfordshire
Worksop Manor
Rocksavage, Cheshire
Wimbledon House
Oxwich Castle, West Glamorgan, substantial ruins remain


  1. ^Airs, 51, quoted
  2. ^Ben Jonson, To Penshurst (1616) see below
  3. ^as by Norwich, 670
  4. ^Summerson (1980), 70
  5. ^Summerson (1993), 50–54; Airs, 23–24, 37–38
  6. ^Ridley, chapter 3
  7. ^Girouard, 111
  8. ^Girouard, 109–112; Airs, 50
  9. ^Summerson (1993), 58–59; Airs, 14–17, 50
  10. ^Airs, 158
  11. ^Jenkins, 433; Historic England. 'Doddington Hall (1164612)'. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  12. ^Mooney, 2
  13. ^ abWilliams, 209
  14. ^Airs, 53–56; Williams, 208–209
  15. ^Williams, 208; Airs, 58–59
  16. ^Summerson (1993), 47–48
  17. ^Airs, 24. This is somewhat simplifying the complicated history of the writing and publication of Serlio's work.
  18. ^Summerson (1993), 50–54; Airs, 15–24
  19. ^Girouard, 88–105
  20. ^Barbagli & Kertzer, 12–13
  21. ^Summerson (1993), 88
  22. ^Strong, 195–196
  23. ^Girouard, 105, 118
  24. ^Airs, 22–23; Summerson (1993), 54–57
  25. ^Airs, 50, quoted
  26. ^Summerson (1993), 43–44; Williams, 208–210; Airs, 46
  27. ^Airs, 33
  28. ^Summerson (1993), 67–69, 79–81; Airs, 48–51
  29. ^Airs, 14–16
  30. ^Summerson (1980), 70–71
  31. ^Jenkins, 438–440; Esher, 160–164
  32. ^Norwich, 66, 254
  33. ^Jenkins, 83–84
  34. ^Song, 49–50
  35. ^Text from the Poetry Foundation
  36. ^Jenkins, 808
  37. ^Airs, 42–43
  38. ^Summerson (1993), 37–39
  39. ^
  40. ^Airs, 49


For individual houses, see Airs, Jenkins, Norwich, and of course the Pevsner Architectural Guides

  • Airs, Malcolm, The Buildings of Britain, A Guide and Gazetteer, Tudor and Jacobean, 1982, Barrie & Jenkins (London), ISBN0091478316
  • Barbagli, Marzio, Kertzer, David I. (eds.), The History of the European Family: Family life in early modern times (1500–1789), The History of the European Family, 2001, Yale University Press, ISBN0300094949, 9780300094947, ISBN0300089716, 9780300089714, google books
  • Esher, Lionel, The Glory of the English House, 1991, Barrie and Jenkins, ISBN0712636137
  • Girouard, Mark, Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History 1978, Yale, Penguin etc.
  • Jenkins, Simon, England's Thousand Best Houses, 2003, Allen Lane, ISBN0713995963
  • Mooney, Barbara Burlison, Prodigy Houses of Virginia: Architecture and the Native Elite, 2008, University of Virginia Press, ISBN9780813926735
  • Musson, Jeremy, How to Read a Country House, 2005, Ebury Press, ISBN009190076X
  • John Julius Norwich, The Architecture of Southern England, Macmillan, London, 1985, ISBN0333220374
  • Ridley, Jasper, A Brief History of the Tudor Age, 2002, Hachette UK, 2013 ed., ISBN1472107950, 9781472107954, google books
  • Song, Eric B., Dominion Undeserved: Milton and the Perils of Creation, 2013, Cornell University Press, ISBN9780801468087
  • Strong, Roy: The Spirit of Britain, 1999, Hutchison, London, ISBN185681534X
  • Summerson (1980), Summerson, John, The Classical Language of Architecture, 1980 edition, Thames and HudsonWorld of Art series, ISBN0500201773
  • Summerson (1993), Summerson, John, Architecture in Britain, 1530 to 1830, 1993 edition, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, Yale University Press, ISBN0300058861, 9780300058864
  • Williams, Penny, The Later Tudors: England, 1547–1603, Volume 2 of The New Oxford history of England, 1998 revised edition, Oxford University Press, ISBN9780192880444

Further reading[edit]

  • Mark Girouard: Montacute House, Somerset (1964); Robert Smythson and the Architecture of the Elizabethan Era (1966); Hardwick Hall (1976); Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House (1983); Elizabethan Architecture: Its Rise and Fall, 1540–1640 (2009)
Retrieved from ''
© NBC /Trae Patton/NBC Carter Rubin, 15, with his coach and mentor, ska-pop star Gwen Stefani. (Trae Patton/NBC)

America loves stories about extraordinarily talented kids, and this season of “The Voice” was no exception: Carter Rubin, a 15-year-old from Long Island with soaring vocal skills that brought the celebrity coaches to tears, was crowned the winner on the Season 19 finale Tuesday night.

Gwen Stefani, Rubin’s coach and mentor, screamed as the results were announced and confetti rained down on her young protege. She ran to the stage and then abruptly stopped, apparently remembering pandemic protocols that dictate contestants and coaches must stay apart.

“Can we hug? I don’t know!” she yelled over the piped-in crowd noise. (There was no live audience allowed this season.) Ultimately, they did not hug, and Stefani settled for shouting, “You won ‘The Voice’! You won ‘The Voice’! You won ‘The Voice’ during a pandemic!”

Indeed he did, and the prize comes with $100,000 and a recording contract — plus, Rubin made show history by becoming the youngest male winner. (Brynn Cartelli was just a few weeks younger when she won Season 14.) Rubin’s victory also gave Stefani her first coaching win; she was especially delighted to triumph over her fiance, Blake Shelton, who had two contestants in the finale. Runners-up included Jim Ranger and Ian Flanigan (Team Blake) as well as Desz (Team Kelly Clarkson) and John Holiday (Team John Legend).

© NBC /Trae Patton/NBC 'The Voice' Season 19 final five finalists, from left: Ian Flanigan, Jim Ranger, John Holiday, Carter Ruben and Desz. (Trae Patton/NBC)

Although it can be difficult to predict who will win reality singing competitions, Rubin easily had this one locked up last week in the semifinals after one especially moving performance. The coaches chose the tracks for their singers, and Stefani picked “Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie” for Rubin. “I think America is connecting with Carter because Carter has this purity and youthfulness to this voice outside of genre and age,” she said.

Rubin loved the choice, and declared he was dedicating it to his autistic older brother, Jack, whom he frequently talked about on the show. After he delivered a pitch-perfect rendition of the quiet ballad, Stefani — who said she used to sing that song to her sons to rock them to sleep — was sobbing.

“Oh my God,” she said. “That was God, like, answering my prayers. That was so beautiful. I’m so happy for you. You’re so gifted, you’re so intuitive, your heart is full of music. I’m so honored that you picked me.”

Stefani lobbied hard to become Rubin’s coach. During his blind audition episode, when he belted out Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go,” she and Legend were the only two coaches to press their buttons and spin around when they heard his voice. They were both visibly shocked to see the teenager in front of them, who at the time was 14. Stefani later admitted that she thought he sounded like a 50-year-old woman.

“I cannot believe what I’m hearing and seeing right now,” she gushed, and then segued into her pitch: As the mom of a 14-year-old boy, she could serve as both a musical mentor and a maternal figure.

'The Voice' victor Carter Rubin and mentor Gwen Stefani reflect on win

“You probably don’t have tons of experience with being on TV and being able to have that stage presence, because you’re going to be picking songs that need to be age appropriate,” she said. “I can help you to wrap your head around that emotion and your style and how you’re going to dress and present yourself.”

Proud Of The Prodigy Book Series

Although Legend was quite complimentary (“You sounded polished. You sounded strong. Your voice has control, which a lot of people your age wouldn’t have, and your tone is just piercing and brilliant”), Rubin liked what Stefani had to say, and chose her. He sailed through the early rounds of the competition and it soon became clear that no one stood a chance against his powerhouse voice, especially when he took on ballads such as Mariah Carey’s “Hero” and Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb.”

It also helped that in addition to his vocal talent, he had a delightful personality, joking around and easily chatting with the adults around him. He also spoke candidly of being bullied in school and why it meant so much for him to be on the show.

“Being a teenager, it’s a lot of pressure to try to fit in and be ‘cool,’ whatever that means,” he said. “Being a 14-year-old boy in middle school-slash-high school that sings, doesn’t really play sports, not very athletic — most boys my age, their voices have already dropped down. So I have been picked on by the other kids for being this different, unique individual.”

Proud Of The Prodigy Cast

“But as I get older, I’m realizing that unique isn’t a bad thing,” he continued. “I don’t need their validation, and I think it was totally worth staying strong through all that nonsense to have gotten here and show my unique side.”


Following that segment, he performed Lauren Daigle’s “You Say,” which is all about believing in yourself, and the coaches were beside themselves. Clarkson, who was crying, said the performance “broke me in the most amazing ways.”

“Carter, you actually nailed it. You are a prodigy,” Legend said. “You are special because of your age — but also, anybody who sang that would have been proud to sing it at any age.”

Proud Of The Prodigy Merch

Read more: