The English House: 1000 Years of Domestic Architecture
Author(s): John Steel & Michael Wright
Year published: 2006
Total Pages: 400
Illustrations: 506 Colour
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The English House reviews the changes in style that can be seen in domestic architecture in England from Norman times to the present day. Written for the interested layman rather than only for the architectural historian, it is how the house and its rooms were used and the way in which owners past and present lived in these properties which is the main subject of this book.
The book is divided into fifteen chapters by date from 1000 to 2000 AD. Within each period the main characteristics of the houses are analysed and examples discussed and illustrated, concentrating both on well-known and less familiar structures. Starting with Norman houses, an introduction describes how the rooms in such houses were used and embellished and this is followed by a chapter dealing with early medieval buildings, showing how local variations can be recognised. The third chapter deals with the high medieval period and is followed by Tudor, Elizabethan and Jacobean houses.
A chapter is devoted to the Carolean period up to 1715, followed by Palladian houses, on their own and in terraces, and by neo-classical structures. The influence of the Picturesque is discussed along with the effects on housing of the nation’s victory in the Napoleonic Wars and of England’s growing industrial strength. The diversity of styles to be seen in High Victorian houses is covered, while the golden age of Edwardian house building is also dealt with.
The profound changes that occurred in houses after the First World War is discussed; the development of council estates, the conversion of commercial and religious buildings to domestic use, Executive Georgian, Neo-Palladian and Ranch-style properties are all considered. The book finishes by asking whether the nation is on the brink of a vernacular revival in housing.