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Wednesday, 01 January 2020

Travels to England's Cotswolds: An Architectural Tour - Page 5

Written by Emily and Russ Firlik
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The Renaissance period ended with the Stuart style, and the beginning of a brand new style of architecture emerged, that being the English Baroque - 1,695 - 1,725. Of course, the most recognized example of English Baroque style is Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. The Methodist Chapel Church in Burford and St. Peter’s church in Filkins are very representative of the Baroque style in the Cotswolds. Baroque in England utilized bold masses of curved shapes, clustered chimneys, strong lines with symmetrical wings on the sides and rich colors of the local materials - mainly brick and stone. However, English Baroque had a conservative appearance giving a weaker sense of movement and less dynamic compared to other European Baroque constructions. The decorative style appeals to the senses in a way no other style could match.

 

BAROQUE : 1695-1725 - BLENHEIM PALACE

Broadway, the Broadway Tower, the Dover’s House in Chipping Campden, the Town Hall in Woodstock, and the 30 terraced houses laid out in the Royal Crescent, and the three curved crescents of The Circus in Bath represented the next architectural phase: Georgian - 1,702 - 1,837. Characteristics we observed that represented the Georgian style included the use of brick disguised with stucco, ashlar blocks stone, balconies, ornamentation in a classical tradition, and a balanced style marked by symmetry and proportions based on classical architecture of Greece and Rome.

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GEORGIAN: 1702-1837 - BATH’S ROYAL CRESCENT

The Palladian phase of Cotswold architecture: 1,720 - 1,760, was based on the philosophy of design based on the writings and work of Andreas Palladio, an Italian architect of the 16th century. His goal was to try to recreate the style and proportions of the buildings of Ancient Rome. This phase did not last long in England, but the Palladian examples in the Cotswolds were excellent: Barrington Park, the Harrington House in Bourton-on-the-Water and the Fairford House for example. What characterizes English Palladian architecture? Refined elegance, understated decorative elements, attention to the architectural elements of Ancient Rome, and the use of classical orders. Probably the most attractive style we witnessed during our journey.

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PALLADIAN - 1720-1760 = EX: GREAT BARRINGTON’S BARRINGTON PARK

Another architectural- historical phase that only lasted 20 odd years, was the Regency: 1,810-1,837. In many respects it is a natural continuation of the previous Georgian style. This period experienced a great surge of interest in classical Greece. Windows are tall and thin, balconies have extremely fine ironwork, proportions are simple with classical lines, brick covered with stucco or painted plaster, fluted Greek columns, refined elegance, and finally, row houses or terrace houses. Exemplary examples of the Regency style were found in the well known city of Cheltenham, including the Terrace House, Pottsville Pump Room and Holstein Museum.

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REGENCY; 1810-1834 - IN CHELTENHAM AND THE TERRACE HOUSE IN CHELTENHAM

Victorian:  Queen Victoria - 1,837- 1,901 and Edwardian 1,901 - 1,910 - King Edward VII. To differentiate between the two compatible styles is rather difficult. We were told as a rough rule of thumb that the Edwardian housing tends to be slightly squatter than Victorian, but other features are often similar; however, this bit of advice really did not help us. Finding locations that represented ether Victorian and Edwardian style was not easy, but with assistance from the director of the Chipping Norton Museum, we were able to locate several in and about the Cotswolds: Chipping Norton's Town Hall and Bliss Mill, Lower Slaughter's Village Hall, Great Barrington's Beaufort Hunt. In addition, Asthall Manor, the Batsford House in Batsford, and the Cheltenham Town Hall.

Most of these characteristics were found in all these buildings in the Cotswolds: patterned bricks with alternating headers, houses with terraces and gardens in the front and rear (no cars so no garages needed). Unlike the smaller 6 by 6 panel Georgian windows, Victorian windows were larger with three sided bay windows, stained glass in both windows and doors, floor tiles in natural colors, fireplaces in every room, pouches, a first time invention. The Edwardian chimneys of the Batsford House were sloped down directly above the fireplace. The interior ceilings were very high with a decorative frieze. Finally, Edwardian houses tend to be tall and thin and found, as we experienced, along winding lanes and cul-de-sacs. Sign postings of villages and hamlets were only “suggestions” in terms of where the actual village or hamlet were located which made driving much more of a joy-ride.

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VICTORIAN - 1837-1901 - IN CHIPPING NORTON AND BLISS MILL

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EDWARDIAN ; 1901-1910 - VILLAGE OF ASTHALL AND ASTHALL MANOR

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Last modified on Thursday, 02 January 2020

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