The term manor is often applied to country houses that belong to gentry and other stately abodes. Some manors in Europe are referred to as castles and palaces.

Although manors are not strongly fortified structures such as castles, many manors in the medieval area were still enclosed within a ditch or wall along side farm buildings. By the early 1500s manor houses began to acquire aesthetic amenities similar to residences of country gentlemen. This transformation brought about the Renaissance chateaux of France and many Elizabethan and Jacobean styles around England.