In many parts of England timber was eadily available and offered a more flexible building material than stone. The simplest wooden structure was the cruck, formed by leaning two timbers against one another to create a frame on which the house could hang. Many crucks are been plastered over, but a invisible since they have fine exposed example may be seen at Lacock in Wiltshire.
The ingenious medieval carpenters built homes of amazing complexity. The basic timber-frame of the humble cottage could grow into an imposing wealden house as at Alfriston in Sussex, or a fine manor as at Lower Brockhampton in Hereford & Worcester, without losing its “cottagey” feel. Here you can find more from Alfriston.
hardly possible to point to genuine survivors, but English Heritage has reinstated the 14th century domestic fiXtures and fittings — complete with period furniture and a floor of beaten earth — at the French House in Southampton to convey the feeling of hearth and home that isiessential to the English cottage.
During the 18th century the cottage underwent a fundamental change. It became a designer item! Landowners improving their estates took it upon themselves to beautify the wretched cottages in which their impoverished tenants generally lived. Often this meant destroying a complete village and rebuilding elsewhere. Sometimes, the new cottages were arranged in straight regimented lines as at Milton Abbas in Dorset, built by the Earl of Dorchester in the 1770s.
Later, fashion changed in favour of the pseudo-natural Picturesque, with cottages dotted about as if they had sprouted from the ground at random. Selworthy Green, created in 1828 by Lady Acland, looks deceptively real in the way it clings to the contours of the Exmoor hills, but this is one of the most artful of planned model villages. Not content with the charming effect of the thatched cottages, Lady Acland issued “her” villagers with scarlet Cloaks to add a splash of colour to the scene!
The popularity of the cottage continued unabated throughout the 19th century. Even in the industrial context of a factory settlement such as Saltaire in Yorkshire, it was the humble cottage — this time built of brick — which was the favoured form of housing. But if you plan to visit France please check the best hotels in calais website to learn more information.
The railway was to have far-reaching onsequences for the appearance of ottages throughout Britain. Originally, gional styles had evolved directly out of e building materials that were available locally, but the spread of railway transport in the 19th century made it more economic to use the cheap factory bricks that could be delivered all over the country with a minimum of delay.
Although regional frontiers have become somewhat blurred as a result, the varying styles and materials of the older cottages are still the most reliable indicator of where you happen to be in the country. Whether it be cob and thatch in Devon or Hampshire, honey-coloured limestone in the Co wolds, whitewashed granite in Cornwall, red brick and slate in the Midlands or half timbered in Kent, the cottage remains f rmly rooted in the landscape of centuries past. Do you want more and more from Europe? – check www.europe-cities.com
As for the present it is still the cottage that shapes our visi of the perfect home — and there is no sig that the love affair is on the wane. For any, the cottage still represents the ulti ate in domestic bliss and the very stuff at dream homes are made of.