Thursday, 19 January 2012

Period Style: Tudor and Elizabethen Architecture Part 2

Hardwick Hall, cut away

Elizabethan Architecture

The large majority of houses built in the Elizabethan period were still timber framed, or built from local stone, as in the earlier Tudor period. I won’t dwell on timber framed building for long as I gave plenty of examples in the previous post, but I do want to show you a few late Tudor timber framed buildings.


This is a rare survivor in London, a timber framed row of buildings in Holborn. Many buildings such as this were lost in the Great Fire of 1666.


This is The Merchant’s House in Plymouth. It is probably early 17th century, but very much in the same style as other late Tudor buildings.

I think the most noticeable thing with these two buildings is the size of the windows. Glass was still very expensive in Elizabethan England, but personal wealth had grown for many people, and they were keen to show it!

 
It is the manor houses and Great Houses that are most notable in the Elizabethan period. As the wealth of farmers and land owners increased, they abandoned their cold, draughty timber framed houses and settled into grander houses of brick or stone; these houses also grew bigger, and had more private rooms. The old Great Halls were becoming little more than a place of entry; servants were being kept separate from the family by this stage.



Barrington Court is a fine example of an Elizabethan manor house. It was started in 1514, but altered later. It has a noticeable symmetry, something of the Renaissance that had begun to creep into buildings in England. Barrington Court is also built to an E shape. This is often believed to be a symbol of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth, but is probably more a happy coincidence; many manor houses were built to this E shaped arrangement, but there were also H shaped houses, so there may well be some element of truth in the patriotic theory.


Melford Hall in Suffolk has many Tudor Characteristics, and Queen Elizabeth was entertained there in 1578. The canny Queen didn’t build herself any great new palaces, as her Father Henry had, she preferred to pay visits to her wealthy courtiers, who spent huge sums of money providing accommodation suitable for a queen and her entourage which could run into hundreds! (Makes the likes of J-Lo’s entourage seem like small fry!) she might stay for months too, it was a very expensive honour to accommodate the queen!

Red brick was starting to become less popular in the Great Houses of the Elizabethan England. These were the houses of courtiers, often known as Prodigy Houses, and elements of classicism were making their way onto these grand buildings, though not in any strict classical style. Works by Serlio had been published in Europe between 1537 and 1575, and books were brought to England, but seem to have been used more like pattern books than full architectural guides. 


 
Longleat House, built by Sir John Thynne between 1572-1580, has string coursing and there are columns by the front door, the façade is also symmetrical. It isn’t strictly a classical building, but the elements are starting to appear here. It is also built of stone.

 
This is the Tixall Gatehouse in Staffordshire, built C1780 by Sir Walter Aston, The house which stood behind it was from a much earlier period, and has since been demolished (as has its successor built in 1780!). The façade is symmetrical, and if you look closely you can see it follows the correct classical orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, and has a classical balustrade, but is again not a strictly classical building.

 
Wollaton Park was built by Sir Francis Willoughby between 1580- 1588. It is highly decorated, and uses some classical elements; it’s a rather eclectic building overall.

 
Burghley House was built by William Cecil (Lord Burghley) between 1555 and 1587. The great west front seen here (built in the 1580’s) also has string coursing and some other classical elements. The ogee shaped turret roofs were also popular in Elizabethan buildings as you might have already noticed!

 
Heydon Hall in Norfolk, built between 1581 and 1584, is a more traditional style Elizabethan house, but the classical influence can still be seen in the pediments above the windows.

 
Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire is perhaps most famous for its large windows. Built by Bess of Hardwick (Countess of Shrewsbury) to replace a slightly older house (the ruins still lay next to the new hall) from 1593 to 1597.  The famous rhyme ‘Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall’ is well deserved, the windows are huge, and make a bold statement of the Countess’s wealth. There are columns and string courses used here, but it still isn’t a strict classical building.


 
Work on building Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire was begun late in Elizabeth’s reign. The shaped gables (strictly speaking only called Dutch gables if topped with a pediment) are another popular feature of Elizabethan buildings, and this building has plenty! There is another example of the classical orders in use, if not in the pure classical style to which they are usually accustomed! (Kirby Hall is a partial ruin in case you were wondering why there are windows with out a roof above!)

 
Lyvden New Bield in Northamptonshire is another ruin, or rather an uncompleted building, begun in 1595 and abandoned in 1605. 

 

 
Montacute House in Somerset (C1598) is a fine example of Elizabethan architecture; Classical elements, symmetry, E shaped frontage, large windows and shaped gables.


Westwood House in Worcestershire (C1600) is another example of those Elizabethan features; shaped gables; classical elements and large windows.


 Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire (C1600) is the last house I am going to show you. It uses symmetry and classical elements, but its openwork balustrade and bay window and protruding tower behind mean it still isn’t a classical building. It would be a few more years, and within the reign of a very different Royal, that the first truly classical building landed in England! But more of that another time!!

20 comments:

  1. Preciosas fotos de mansiones. Me encanta que hayas puesto estas fotos con un breve relato de cada una de ellas. Gracias

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    1. Thank you Sionchi, I am pleased you enjoyed these pictures, I tried to get pictures of a broad selection of house from this period. Planning more pictures from later periods too, so keep a look out over the next few months

      regards
      Andy

      Gracias Sionchi, me alegra que haya disfrutado de estas imágenes, traté de obtener fotografías de una amplia selección de casas de este período. Una planificación más imágenes de épocas posteriores también, así que mantener una mirada a lo largo de los próximos meses

      se refiere a
      Andy

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  2. Thanks for the great Posts, Andy. They're so interesting and I love all the pics.

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    1. thanks Si, good to hear from you, love all thats going on at Miniature Enthusiast!!

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  3. Wow Andy,

    Such beautiful buildings and so many. Imagine being inside Hardwick Hall all that light streaming in through those magnificent windows.

    What was the story behind Lyvden New Bield? Why was it abandoned? What sort of time frame would it take to build these homes. I find it incredible that they built these homes without the machinery we have today.

    I'm really enjoying these posts Andy.

    Fi x

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    1. Hi Fi, I beleive Lyveden was not completed becuase the original owner died, leaving it to his son, Francis Tresham, who was involved in the Gun Powder Plot, and was executed, after which the family lost most of their money. It was really meant to be a summer retreat, a second home if you like, so I guess that's why they didn't ever finish it. It does look odd in the landscape, not a ruin, just like some cowboy builders have left the project unfinished.

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  4. I am really enjoying these posts, too, Andy. You have shown a very divers collection of buildings. I love the Elizabethan practice of juxtaposing earlier Tudor with later Renaissance elements.

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    1. I'd like to see you build another house based on these Elizabethan mansion houses John! I like these houses too, Hardwick Hall is great, really imposiing as you approach it, even today those windows look huge!!

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  5. Such gorgeous pictures! Beautiful places!

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    1. Hello,

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post! ;)

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  6. Thank you Andy for putting all this info together in time lines, I will definitely refer to them in the future when the Victorian house is done (who knows when!!!!)and I start with a new build.

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    1. I hope you find them useful!! I love the furniture you are making, it's quite stunning!

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  7. Hello Andy,
    What wonderful posts!
    The 2 top item in my bucket list are to go to the KDF show, and to tour the great Country Houses of England. I wish I had read your blog while I was resurching for dewell Manor, it would have saved me a lot of time and given me many lines of inquiry to persue.
    I'm sure there are many who thank you for these informative posts. Can't wait for more.
    All the best,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac, I hoep you get to the UK someday soon too!

      pleased you have enjoyed these posts, they will always be useful guide for the future I hope, when you do your next house!! ;)

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  8. Andy, you are the Pugin of Tudor.

    David

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    1. Thanks, I don't like Pugin though as you know!

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  9. Another excellently informative post. I've been googling a lot of the ones I hadn't heard of before to find out more!

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    1. I'm pleased to have got you interested in some of the less well known houses Irene, I hope they prove to be an inspiration for future projects! I'm looking forward to your big reveal soon on Netherton!

      Lov eteh Apple Tea Rooms, wish I was the right size to take tea there!! ;)

      Andy x

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  10. Wow, Andy, what a Tour de Force! I LOVE these architectural posts... I never took a class on History of Architecture... but my Dad is an Architect and I have always been fascinated by Building styles... so I absorb information whenever it comes my way! (I am Learning a LOT here!) As you know, here in the States... Grand buildings weren't happening in the Seventeenth let alone the Sixteenth centuries.... so there is SUCH a fascination with those buildings, for me, at least! I LOVE the way England preserved it's independence from the Classical Forms more common on the Continent (nothing against Classical per se...! Just really enjoy the uniqueness that developed in Tudor Buildings!) Thank you for taking me on this Tour! Next time I come to England I will have a LONG list of Houses I hope to visit!!!

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  11. Hello!

    I am pleased that you've enjoyed these posts, there's some more on Tudors/Elizabethans to come, then a little later, I will be showing some of the great 17th century buildings in the UK. I like teh Tudor/Elizabethan period, but I do have a great admiration for classical architecture and English Palladian architecture, there are loads of great buildings here in the UK, but its not always clear to people how old they are, or what period they fit into, so I hope they might get a clearer idea by reading these posts, not that I am an expert, but like to pass on what I know! If that doesn't sound big headed, I hope not!!

    You might need two trips to the UK at this rate!! ;)

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