Sir Shane Leslie once wrote that ‘Country life was entirely organized to give nobility and gentry and demi-gentry a good time.’ Throughout Ireland and Britain the country house was a centre of hospitality, entertainment and leisure, with the hosting of house parties, soirees and balls. Pastimes included photography, painting, astronomy and taxidermy. Outdoors the parkland was used for a variety of sporting activities including archery, cricket, croquet and shooting, as well as local sports events, and beyond the demesne activities included hunting, horse racing and yachting. In Ireland demesne lands were developed as golf courses and estates offered land to the nationalist-dominated Gaelic Athletic Association for football and hurling. This volume provides fresh and original insights into how leisure and sport underpinned the social hierarchy of country houses and their local communities in Ireland and Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.