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Full text of "Old English country cottages"

Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
h 

Francis W. 
Mavor Moore 



OLD 

ENGLISH 
CO U NTRY 

COTTAGES 



SPECIAL 
WINTER 
NUMBER 
OF 'THE 
STUDIO 




PRICE FIVE SHILLINGS NET 



SPECIALISTS IN 
FINE ART PRINTING. 



CHARIVARI, TOHBRIDCE. 

rsLSftfONSS: 



No. 9 THRIDOI. 



Braaburp, 




The Printers of 



" 



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AD. II 



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Pendant in beaten Silver 
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Graceful mount for a. 
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setting with Turquoise 

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with beautiful enamel in centre 



Above Designs are 
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manufactured by 
MURRLE, 
BENNETT 
AND Co., LIMITED 
13 CHARTERHOUSE ST. 
LONDON, E.G. 



Avoid Machine-made Jewelry, it lacks originality. 



Al' III 



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217 & 218 Tottenham Court Road, London, W. 




ONE OF THE LARGEST STOCKS OF ANTIQUE FURNITURE IN LONDON. 



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No. 6 Catalogue 
on application 



HENRY-HOPE& SONS-LIMITED 
55, Lionel Street, Birmingham & 



AD. IV 



COTTAGE FURNITURE 



CARRIAGE 
PAID 

on all 
orders 
over 40 . 
to any 
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in 
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or 
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CARRIAGE 
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on all 
orders 
over 40s. 
to an 
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A SIMPLE LIVING-ROOM 
IN A COUNTRY COTTAGE 

A Cheap Set of Plain OaK Furniture made by Hand 

6 Oak Table . 2:10:0 Oak Chair . . . 12 6 
4' 6 Dresser 6:15:0 , Armchair . . 22 6 

WRITE FOR No. 133 ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET 



I1CJ5-TOTTENHAM COURT RP-W-I 








COPYRIGHT AND REGISTERED DESIGN. 

YOU ARE INVITED TO INSPECT 

THE TWO CHARMING 

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CONTAINING 

Three Bedrooms, Living Room, Hall and Kitchen, 

ERECTED AND FURNISHED 
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Specially designed for OETZMANN & CO by 
W. Henry White, Esq., F.R.I.B.A. 

ESTIMATED COST TO BUILD, ABOUT 300. 

ACTUAL COST of FURNISHING 

(including Linen, Plate, China, Cutlery, Glass, etc.) 

45 Guineas. 



ROAD w 

ontimu\lioit north <*f To1ten1ram~courT "fti 

" GOOD TASTE WITH ECONOMY " 

IS THE 

KEYNOTE or OETZM ANN & Co.. 

SPECIALLY DESIGNED FURNITURE FOR COTTAGE OR FLAT 

{Illustrated Catalogue of Cottage and Flat Furniture Post free. 

TO BUILD ARTISTIC COTTAGES CHEAPLY 
Architects^ shouldftspecify for OETZM ANN'S 
Registered] Windows, Doors, Grates, &c. .". 



"BUNGALOW 
COTTAGES 

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OLD ENGLISH COTTAGES. 



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,WORCS 




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Descriptive Catalogue. 34 pp.. 
post 'free, 3d. 



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AD. VI 



THE CAMERA 



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This splendid Camera is a triumph in 
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THE "HEAPED" FIRE 



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AD. IX 



"THE STUDIO" CHRISTMAS CARDS 

PRINTED IN COLOURS EXPRESSLY FOR "THE 
STUDIO" FROM DESIGNS BY JOHN HASSALL, R.I., 
MRS. BURLEIGH AND MISS ETHEL LARCOMBE. 



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AND A PENNY). ANY ONE OF THESE CARDS CAN BE SUPPLIED 
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THROUGH A STATIONER OR DIRECT TO THE OFFICES OF 

"THE STUDIO," 44 LEICESTER SQUARE, LONDON, W.C. 



"THE STUDIO" YEAR-BOOK 
OF DECORATIVE ART, 1907 

^ : TO ARCHITECTS, DESIGNERS, 
. CRAFTSMEN, AND OTHERS 

The Editor wishes to remind those who are 
submitting designs for this volume that all 
Drawings, Photographs, etc., should be in his 

hands by NoVember 3rd. 



AD. X 



MR. MURRAY'S BOOKS. 



THE SHORES OF THE ADRIATIC. 

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Essay on Karly Tuscan Sculptors. S. Augustine at 
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A NEW EDITION of CROWE and CAVALCASHI.I.H'S 

HISTORY OF PAINTING in Italy, 

Umbria, Florence, and Siena, from the 2nd to the 
i6th Century. With Editorial Notes by LANGTON 
DOUGLAS. Six Volumes. With upwards of 200 Illustra- 
tions. Square Demy 8vo. 2is. net each Vol. 

Vol. I. Early Christian Art. 

Vol. II. Giotto and the diottesques. 



Now Ready. 



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IF YOU ARE 
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THE SMALL HOUSE 

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at tn. UUi-pan I. not exactly a work 
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O. A. B. DEWAR S 
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of bird! and b aito being therein con 
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to rural icenei in England. .... 



ALSTON RIVERS 
FICTION 



THE WEB OF MILAN. Marjorie Bowen. 6s. 

MERIEI. OF THE Moons. R. E. Vernedc. 6s. 

THE IVORY RAIDERS. Walter Dalby - - 61. 

A Pixv IN PETTICOATS. Anon. - - - 6s. 

COLLUSION. Thomas Cobb 6s. 



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LONDON : 
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Important New Volumes. 



THE MACWHIRTER 
SKETCH BOOK. 

Being Reproductions of a Selection of Sketches in 
Colour and Pencil from the Sketch Books of 
JOHN MACWHIRTKR, R.A., designed to assist 
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LANDSCAPE PAINTING 
IN OIL COLOUR. 

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COUNTRY COTTAGES 

AND 

WEEK-END HOMES. 

By J. H. Elder-Duncan. 

With numerous Illustrations and Plans of Cottages 
by well-known Architects. 5^. net. 

CASSELL ti Co.. Ltd.. London. E.C. 



AD. XI 



Readers of "The Studio" who desire to enhance the 

Comfort and Distinction 

of their rooms by the addition of notably tasteful and interesting 

Furniture, Carpets, Curtains, 

- At the most competitive London prices - 

are specially invited to write for HAMPTONS' Illustrated Catalogues, 

which may be had post free, together with specially prepared 

furnishing schemes, etc., on receipt of particulars 

of the applicants' requirements. 




AP. xii 



Hampton's No. C 2056 6 ft. Sideboard in Mahogany, adapted by 
Hamptons from an old Chippendale Model. 

For many other Examples of Best Current Values in Dining 
Room Furniture, see Catalogue No. C 329 sent post free. 

HAMPTONS 

Pall Mall East, Trafalgar Square, London, S.W. 



OLD ENGLISH 
COUNTRY COTTAGES 




EDITED BY CHARLES HOLME 



OFFICES OF ( THE STUDIO,' LONDON 
PARIS, AND NEW YORK MCMVI 



pr^RARvC 

VJ-A FEB /./ 



PREFATORY NOTE. 

" Would it look well in a painting ? " is a test question which it 
has been recommended should be considered when the enquirer is 
in doubt as to the artistic value of some structural or ornamental 
object. A favourable answer is by no means an infallible guide to 
the principles of Art ; but the enquiry is, nevertheless, sufficiently 
useful to warrant it being made upon many occasions. When we 
consider it in relation to the rustic dwellings with which our 
English country landscape is dotted, we find the answer to be over- 
whelmingly in favour of those of ancient build. The modern ones 
with their yellow bricks, slate roofs, tarred weather boards and 
corrugated iron, are entirely opposed to all ideas of the beautiful. 
The ancient cottage harmonises with its surroundings, the modern 
one is at variance with them. The mere age of the former may 
add an element of beauty to it, but to the latter even the weathering 
of the years will have no very kindly influence. To preserve 
some record of these fast disappearing old buildings has been the 
object of the Editor in the preparation of this volume. He, how- 
ever, makes no claim to have exhausted the subject. To do so 
within the compass of a single volume, or, indeed, of many, would 
be impossible. But he trusts that the material which has here been 
accumulated may be of interest and service both to present and 
future students of the subject. He desires especially to record his 
thanks to Mrs. Lionel Beddington, Mrs. Bolton, Mr. R. L. 
Gunther, Mr. W. F. Unsworth, Mr. Herbert Alexander, A.R.W.S., 
Mr. Wilfrid Ball, R.E., Mr. E. A. Chadwick, Mrs. Stanhope 
Forbes, A.R.W.S., Mr. Wilmot Pilsbury, R.W.S., Mrs. M.. 
Stormont and Mr. Grosvenor Thomas, for their kindly loan of the 
paintings reproduced in colours herein. Also to Sir Benjamin 
Stone, M.P., and Mr. T. A. Cossins, for the valuable assistance 
they rendered Mr. Sydney R. Jones in the preparation of his 
drawings which illustrate this volume, by placing at his disposal 
their wide knowledge of the subject. 




ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR 



Mrs. Allingham, R.W.S. 
Herbert Alexander, A. R.W.S. 
Mrs. Allingham, R.W.S. 
Mrs. M. Stormont 
Walter Tyndale 

E. A. Chadwick 
Wilfrid Ball, R.E. 

Wilmot Pilsbury, R.W.S. 
Wilfrid Ball, R.E. 



E. A. Chadwick 

Wilmot Pilsbury, R.W.S. 

Grosvenor Thomas 

Mrs. E. Stanhope Forbes, 

A.R.W.S 

Miss Rosa Wallis 



" Hollingbourne, Kent " ... ... Frontispiece 

" Cranbrook, Kent "... ... Opposite page 9 

" Haslemere, Surrey " ... 36 

"Witley, Surrey" 38 

" Steep, Hampshire " (two 

drawings) ... ... 40 

"Whitbourne, Herefordshire" 61 
" Long Wittenham, Oxford- 
shire" , 8l 

<J 

"Tewkesbury, Gloucester- 
shire" 88 

" Welford-on-Avon, Glouces- 
tershire " 98 

"Long Wittenham, Oxford- 
shire" ... ... ... 102 

"Suckley, Worcestershire "... 115 

" Pershore, Worcestershire "... 120 

" Lustleigh, Devonshire " ... 141 

" Landewednack, Cornwall "... 144 

" A Cottage Garden " ... 157 




CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



INTRODUCTION ................. ......... i 

I. KENT, SUSSEX, SURREY AND HAMPSHIRE ............ 9 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Biddenden, Kent ... I2 

Canterbury ... !5> : 9 

Cranbrook ......... J 3i : 4 

Goudhurst ......... ... 16, i?, l8 

Penshurst ...... ... 2O, 21, 22 

Sandwich ............... 23,24,26 

Tonbridge ... ... IJ 

Upper Deal ......... 15 

Byworth, Sussex ............... 28, 29 

Crawley ... 35 

Fittleworth 3> 3 ' 

Little Dixter ... ... 27 

North Chapel ............... ... ... 36 

Northiam .................. 27, 34 

Petworth ...... ......... 32, 33 

Rye 3 

Chiddingfold, Surrey ...... ... ... ... ... ... ... 37 

Guildford Castle ........................ 37 

Witley ... 38 

Greywell, Hampshire ..................... 41 

Upton Grey ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 39, 40 

Weston-Patrick ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42, 43 

II. SUFFOLK AND NORFOLK ..................... 45 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Kessingland, Suffolk ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 52 

Lowestoft ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 51 

Southwold ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 50 

Walberswick ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 50, 53 

Weston ... 47, 48, 49 

Filby Broad, Norfolk ...... ... ... ... ... ... ... 54 

Yarmouth ... ......... 55, 56, 57 

III. CHESHIRE, SHROPSHIRE AND HEREFORDSHIRE ............ 61 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Alderley Edge, Cheshire ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 65, 66 

Chester ..................... 64 

Congleton ..................... 66 

Nether Alderley ..................... 63 

vi 



PAGE 

Prestbury, Cheshire ... ... ... ... 67 

Sandbach 7 

Bromfield, Shropshire ... 7, 7 2 
Craven Arms 
Culmington 

Harton ... 74 

Much Wenlock 68 > 6 9 



Fardisland, Herefordshire ... ... ... 80, 81 

Ledbury 7 6 

Ley 75 

Orleton 79 

Pembridge 77, 7 8 

IV. GLOUCESTERSHIRE, OXFORDSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE, AND NORTH- 
AMPTONSHIRE 83 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Arlington, Gloucestershire ... ... ... ... 10 

Bibury 9 6 > 97 

Campden 9 2 93 

Ebrington ... ... ... IO1 

Northleach 99 



Sranton ... ... ... 9 

Upper Guiting ... ... ... ... 94 

Upper Swell 

Welford-on-Avon ... 85,86,87,88,89,90 

Weston sub-Edge 9. 9 1 

VVillersey 95 

Burford, Oxfordshire !4 

Ducklington ... ... ... ... ... IO 3 

Alport, Derbyshire no, in, 112 

Bakewell 108, 109 

Haddon 107 

Taddington ......... 113 

Youlgreave ...... HO 

Oundle, Northamptonshiie ... ... 105 

Rothwell 106 

V. WORCESTERSHIRE AND WARWICKSHIRE ... 115 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Atch Lench, Worcestershire ... ... ... ... ... 126 

Broadway "/, 119. I2O > I21 

Chaddesley Corbett 118 

Cleeve Prior 127 

vii 



PAGE 

Cropthorne, Worcestershire ... ... ... ... ... ... 125 

Ripple M ... 123 

Yardley Wood ...... 124 

Alveston, Warwickshire ...... ... ... ... ... 137 

Charlecote ..................... 135 

Hampton-in-Arden ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 130 

Hampton Lucy ...... ... 138 

Hill Wooton ............ ... 132, 133 

Knowle .................. 136 

Lapworth ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 140 

Leek Wooton ..................... 132,134 

Ludington ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 13! 

Mill Street ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 129 

Shottery ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 139 

Solihull ..................... 135 

Warwick ..................... 128 

VI. DEVONSHIRE AND WEST SOMERSETSHIRE ............ 141 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF 

Dawlish, Devonshire ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 143, 144 

Thurlestone ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 145 

Combe Florey, Somersetshire ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 154 

Crowcombe ,, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 152 

Dulverton ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 153 

Minehead ... ... ... ... ... ... 148, 149, 150 

Norton Fitzwarren ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 146,156 

Selworthy .. ... ... ... ... ... ... 147, 151 

Williton ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 155 

CONCLUSION ........................ ... I57 

ILLUSTRATIONS OF ARCHITECTURAL AND OTHER DETAILS : - 

Casement Fittings ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 58, 122 

Chimneys ... ... 15, 25, 50, 135, 148 

Door Handles, Knockers, Latches and Lock Plates ... ... ... ... 159, .166 

Doorheads, Doorways and Entrances ... 16, 30, 32, 36, 47, 66, 72, 75, 96, 106, 108, 

no, 126, 132, 146, 151, 154, 156, 160, 162 
Exterior Decoration ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 163, 165 

Fireplaces and Accessories ... 27, 34, 42, 43, 48, 66, 86, 92, 98, no, 161, 163 
Gardens and Trees ...... 18, 80, 81, 87, 89, 107, 120, 121, 124, 127, 135, 140 

Metal Work ............... 43, 58, 122, 159, 161, 163, 166, 167 

Stonework ........................... j6o, 165 

Windows and Glazing ............... 15,19,30,128,160,163,164 



Wood Brackets 



Vlll 



INTRODUCTION 




HOLLINGBOURNE, KENT. FROM A WATER-COLOUR DRAWING BY MRS. ALLINGHAM, R.W.S. 

(By Permission of Mrs. Lionel Beddington.) 



INTRODUCTION 




HERE is pn. inch a natural 

part of the English lami 
such a direct appeal to thu 
tion, as the old coin 
of England, 
of the town, in th 
the lonely moor, t\r. 
beautiful witnesses to 
ie of the vi 

to district 

the wonder grows at DMA] tv}>i>, and 

that half a day's journey from cottajr lierc arc cottages of 

thatch. To i fully the of these changes 

to realise t divide* 1 . geological provinces, 

' their inhabit r always sprung from the same stock. 

ts came dir. 'uence of the alien, and others 

; of the tov remote parts developed in the 

hood of the < 
liters of tli 
y were brought into 
igain probably durinj: 
.or the guilds, the chi 
uality and charm of t 
.raftsmen, 

pment of a the 

from the soil, 
-.e are constant. 
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INMOURNE, KENT. FROM A 



HAM, R.W.S. 




INTRODUCTION 

^ -JZ> HERE is probably no object so much a natural 
i part of the English landscape, nor which makes 

: _ f such a direct appeal to the heart and imagina- 

\^^S tion, as the old country cottage. In every part 

of England, in the village and on the outskirts 
of the town, in the hamlet and standing on 
the lonely moor, there still remain these 
beautiful witnesses to the vitality, freshness, 
and pride of the village mason and car- 
penter. Passing from district to district 
the wonder grows at the many types, and 

that half a day's journey from cottages of stone there are cottages of 
cob and thatch. To understand fully the significance of these changes 
one has to realise that England is divided into geological provinces, 
and that their inhabitants have not always sprung from the same stock. 
Some parts came directly under the influence of the alien, and others 
under that of the towns, while those in remote parts developed in the 
neighbourhood of the church and the manor. 

The members of the town guilds were possibly another influence 
when they were brought into contact with the village craftsmen at fair 
time, and again probably during the building of the church ; but neither 
the towns nor the guilds, the church nor the alien, are sufficient to account 
for the individuality and charm of the country cottage. The appearance 
of a travelling body of craftsmen, if there were such, may have given 
an impetus to the development of a district or particular locality, but the 
real permanent and abiding influence was that which came from the soil. 
The configuration of the land, the materials, the climate these are constant. 
It would be difficult to find a more striking illustration of inspiration 
through the soil than in these cottages throughout England. Scholarship, 
learning, and a knowledge of building and art, in the sense understood 
by us to-day, are seldom seen, and it is almost impossible to conceive of 
the local mason or carpenter regarding himself as an artist. Content to 
carry on from generation to generation the traditions of the locality in 
which they were born, work varied little in expression, but much in 
detail. The craftsman with more imagination than his fellows gave a 
new turn to the mouldings, finished a gable with a finial of a fresh 
pattern, or added another variety of walling ; one carried through his 
work a little in advance, and one remained a little behind, but the work 
as a whole was customary and usual, and the following on of what 
their fathers had done before them. Each gave of his best, his quota 
of simple and direct workmanship, using the materials that were to hand, 
sometimes wisely and well, sometimes badly, but always inspired with a 
fancy and invention as natural as they were unconscious. The way they 
built and the way we build are essentially different. With them the tendency 
was to add gradually new methods of doing things, slowly increasing their 



store of ideas, from which they drew, as they drew water from the well 
on the village green. The source of inspiration for all of them was the 
same. With us the tendency is to reduce the many ways to as few as 
possible, and in the place of local materials to substitute a manufactured 
one that can be applied universally. If an inventive genius like 
Mr. Barrie's sentimental Tommy " finds a way " to place upon the markets 
of the world a material that fulfils the function of a wall, roof, floor, and 
foundation, indeed all that is generally required in a modern cottage, he 
will earn the gratitude of those well-meaning philanthropists who want 
" cheap " cottages. The links are broken in the old building traditions of 
the country side, not merely through the exodus of the rural population 
and the change in social conditions, but by the almost complete abandonment 
of the old conceptions of life and work. The cottages of the past were 
built for use by the villager, whereas the new are built for cheapness and 
profit or by philanthropists, a distinction perhaps without a great 
difference. To build once more in the same spirit must mean a return to 
their traditions, the reopening of local quarries, the revival and encourage- 
ment of local industries, methods of work, pride in craftsmanship and the 
total abolition of " cheapness " as a standard for approval. And this will 
come to pass just as surely as the day follows the night and spring the winter, 
and in due season will blossom work as beautiful as that done by the men who 
laid stone to stone on the Cotswold Hills, or of those who thatched the 
barns and hayricks of Norfolk and Suffolk. No aspect of English building 
is so full of surprises as the study of countryside architecture. One 
village is mediaeval and another classic in spirit, while again others have 
the characteristics of both. At one side of a county are cottages of brick, 
at the other, of stone ; galleting in Kent differs from galleting in Surrey. 
Brick walls are as varied in bond as the courses of the masonry. Neatness, 
order, and well-kept hedges and gardens in one district, the reverse in the 
next. These expressions, local and particular, noticeable everywhere, have 
given to our villages their individual stamp. A natural conservatism 
and narrowness of outlook, an absence of easy means of communication 
between districts lying apart, have helped to foster and encourage the local 
methods of work. Alterations and new fashions in detail came so slowly, 
and fresh methods of building once perhaps during a generation, that even 
in the districts where it is possible to trace the foreign influence, the native 
workmen have moulded afresh the ideas of the foreigner, adding local 
character in the course of transmutation. In the treatment of surfaces the 
villager was a master. " What," says the late J. D. Sedding, " was roughish, 
tool-marked freestone in the old building, is smooth, machine-dressed bath- 
stone in the new. What was built of many-tinted, thin, uneven-shaped 
bricks in the old place, is built of regular shaped and of hard, monotonous 
colour in the new ; what was of coarse plaster in the old, is smooth, 
speckless stucco in the new. What was rough-burnt tile or hand-shaped 
timber,or hand-cast plaster, or hand-wrought iron in the old, is machine-made, 
dead, textureless in the new." The use of contrasting materials was common, 
sometimes deliberately adopted, and sometimes, we suspect, owing to a 
limited supply of a material. Comparatively smooth stone was introduced 

4 



into rough brick, flint intermingled with brick, stones projected from wall 
faces, joints were galleted and geometrical patterns were stamped in plaster, 
and the simpler device of leaving the trowel marks or dotting with marks, 
not unlike those made by the gouge in woodwork, were among the 
methods used by the plasterer. There are cottages between districts 
which have methods common to both, tile-hung dwellings with stone slates 
and rough-cast walls jostling those of stone. 

In the arrangement of materials, whether of one or of many, the village 
workman displayed a happy knack of doing the right thing in the right 
place, but in putting them together he was not always so successful, and 
seldom satisfactory from the sanitary expert's point of view. The rain was 
allowed to drop from the eaves without any means to collect it, the water 
to sink into the foundations, and walls were sometimes badly built ; but 
in spite of these drawbacks, and possibly partly owing to them, the appeal 
of the country cottage is universal. To the painter they are a subject for 
the brush ; to the pen-and-ink artist, a study in black and white ; and to 
the architect, a temptation to crib. The old cottage appears to have 
always exercised an uncanny power over the mind of the painter, for there 
is a singular unanimity amongst them to paint it in a state of collapse, with 
pigs in the foreground, a ragged cottager at the door, and sometimes a 
ladder leaning against it, like a flying buttress, as if the painter felt that 
without this support it would never stand up at all. Nor is it only to the 
professional person that they appeal. The saying, " Love in a cottage," 
still has its significance for all simple and homely people, and in the last 
generation our fathers and mothers regarded the cottage as the 
ideal home ; the drawing-books of their children were not thought 
complete without an example of "The Country Cottage " set before 
them as the crowning achievement and completion of their education 
with pencil and pen. 

The plan seems to have had an origin quite distinct from that of the circular 
hut. At first it was merely a copy of the simple rectangular structures 
erected for the housing of the oxen. It was built in bays to accom- 
modate what was called a long yoke of oxen, that is four abreast, and 
the bays divided by two pairs of bent trees, in form resembling the lancet- 
shaped arches of a Gothic church, and placed at i6-feet intervals. These 
were set upon the ground, united at their apex by a ridge tree, and the 
framework strengthened by two tie-beams and four wind braces, and 
fastened together by wooden pegs. The couples or trusses were usually 
known as " forks," and curved for the object of giving more head room. 1 
There is a cottage at Crudgington, in Shropshire, in which the main 
timbers follow the principle of this construction. The angle posts at the 
corners of the gable ends spring from the ground and curve more or less 
towards the ridge, and at the eaves' level the timbers correspond to the 
cross-piece in the construction of the old barn ; the rest of the timbering 
fills in the space between in the usual way. During the first stages of 
cottage building this was undoubtedly the architectural unit, the length of 

1 " Evolution of the English House," by Sidney O. Addy, M.A. 



the dwelling determined by the number of bays or half bays and the rooms 
required. In a later development it was increased in width by the 
addition of outshoots at the side, like the transept of a church, much in 
the same manner that the outhouses are tacked on to a modern dwelling. 
In this simple fashion developed the plan of the ancient cottage, any 
variations of it arising from some special requirements. Although this 
plan persisted for so many generations, modifications crept in owing to the 
nature of the materials. The cob walls of a Somersetshire or Devonshire 
cottage were nearly always built with rounded angles, and in instances 
which have come directly under the observation of the writer, cottages at 
the corners of two roads were planned to follow semi-circular lines. Of 
this influence of material upon the form the general appearance of the 
cottages in other districts afford examples. For instance, when stone slabs 
of a large size were used for covering the roof, the pitch was flat, as at 
Horsham and the surrounding neighbourhood, and in other parts the 
pitch of the roof for tiles was something between thatch and the heavy 
stone roofs. Returning once more to the plan, a comparison of districts 
tends to show that originally all were based on the same simple parallelo- 
gram, with or without outshoots on one side, or by the addition of other 
bays when more accommodation was required. In some cases the cottages 
were only one bay, that is sixteen feet, with perhaps an outshoot on one 
side and the oven projecting beyond. In a Surrey cottage showing 
additions to the old portion, the original structure measures exactly sixteen 
feet, but in the new part the principle of the " bay " was not observed. 
Occasionally the additions were made on the long side, and the roof 
continued down over the new part. As long as the cottage was built with 
" forks " as couples and wattle and daub as filling-in, it was not unreasonable 
to expect a more or less close adherence to the architectural unit ; but it 
appears to have been followed when the construction was of stone. Many 
of the Cotswold plans are either multiples of the " bay " (sixteen feet) or 
the "half bay" (eight feet). This may be a coincidence, but the 
survival in one material of the old method formerly used in another has 
often been noticed by writers on architecture. The width of the cottages 
in both Surrey and Gloucestershire was generally from sixteen to eighteen 
feet. Another example of the influence of material upon planning is the 
position of the fireplace and oven. In cottages of wood construction and 
plaster filling-in they were nearly always kept on the outside walls, and were 
of great bulk, while in the stone examples this was only done to a limited 
extent, the fireplace in many instances, probably the majority, being built 
inside the main structure. Wherever the fireplace is placed on the cross 
walls, the stairs almost invariably adjoin it, the limited space necessitating 
winders both at the beginning and the end. The fireplace and chimney- 
stack were often preserved when all else had been pulled down. In Kent, for 
instance, chimney stacks are frequently built in English bond, the rest having 
been rebuilt in Flemish. As a general rule in the early cottages the bricks 
are laid English bond, while Flemish is adopted in those of a later date. 
Although the plan remains much the same all over England, except for 
such relatively unimportant points as have been noted, the difference in the 
6 



types of buildings is remarkable. A comparison of a Cotswold and a Somer- 
setshire cottage shows how the material has affected the result. Nor is 
there so much variety, skill, and thought in the Southern as in the Northern 
examples. The neatness and order found in Gloucestershire, and the care 
in thatching, are missing in the Somersetshire and Devonshire cottages. 
There is a want of tidiness in the methods of the latter. A hard-and-fast 
classification of these types is unnecessary and, indeed, would be difficult 
to arrange satisfactorily but certain counties may be grouped and localised 
by the materials commonly used in the neighbourhood. In Suffolk and 
Norfolk flint and brick walls and pantiles are the chief materials for cottages, 
while the long barns characteristic of this part are of tarred weather- 
boarding, with wonderful steep-pitched thatched roofs. Somersetshire and 
Devonshire build cob and slatey stone walls, plastered and whitewashed, 
and roofed with thatch. Half-timber and brick, brick and plaster walls, 
with tiles and thatched roofs, were general in Warwickshire and Worcester- 
shire ; and in Kent, Sussex, and Surrey brick and timber, plaster, weather- 
boarding and weather-tiling were used for the walls, and tiles for the roofs. 
Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire depended chiefly on stone ; and Cheshire, 
Shropshire, and Herefordshire, like the Midland counties, used half-timber 
and brick, and brick and plaster for the walls, and stone slates for the roofs 
in Cheshire, and tiles in the other two counties. Derbyshire used stone, 
like the Cotswold district. 

Some of the most interesting villages are more or less characteristic of two 
districts. Mickleton, in Gloucestershire, although some little distance south, 
after the Warwickshire border has been crossed, supplies an instance of 
this mingling of two types. There are cottages of whitewashed brick, that 
have thatched roofs, walls of rough-cast with stone slate roofs and dormers, 
arranged like those in Warwickshire ; cottages of brick and timber, the 
brick whitewashed, and the whole erected on a stone base covered with 
stone slate roofs, and others of brick and timber with thatched roofs. The 
mixture of brick and stone is common. The workmanship in the masonry 
is as careful, and the reverse, as in more typical Gloucestershire villages ; 
in some cases it is coursed and in others partly coursed and partly irregular. 
In the same village there are the characteristic stepped brick verges usual 
in Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Ebrington, two or three miles to 
the east of Chipping Campden, in the district of stone walls, mullioned 
windows, and stone slates, is a village of cottages built of stone walls, very 
few mullioned windows, with roofs of thatch, a few only being of stone. 
While Mickleton is well within the borders of Gloucestershire, and 
Ebrington is close to thfe finest examples of stone cottages, Broadway, 
in Worcestershire, is almost entirely characteristic of the Gloucestershire 
type. At Welford-on-Avon, in Gloucestershire, and close to the boundaries 
of Warwickshire, the cottages are more characteristic of the last-named 
county. They have the same frieze-like scheme of walling over the 
ground-floor windows, obtained by the sills of the dormers ranging with 
the eaves. This is a strongly-marked feature of Warwickshire, and it is 
also found in the borderland cottages, while the tradition survives in stone 
in some of the Cotswold villages. 



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DIVISION I 



KENT, SUSSEX, SURREY, 
HAMPSHIRE 




I. KENT, SUSSEX, SURREY, AND 

HAMPSHIRE 

ENT, Sussex, and Surrey are three of the most 
delightful counties in England, and three of the 
richest in cottages that depend for their dis- 
tinctive character upon the effective use of 
three, four, and even five materials. A certain 
number of them are on somewhat similar lines 
to those in Shropshire and Herefordshire ; but 
it is proposed here to consider more especially 
the examples of brick and timber, weather- 
boarding, tile -hanging, and tile roofs in West 
Kent and Surrey ; those roofed with stone at 
Horsham and the surrounding neighbourhood ; those of stone roofed with 
thatch, found in Sussex ; those of flint and stone roofed with tile, to the 
east of Kent ; and 
some of those in 
Hampshire with tile- 
hanging and tile 
roofs. Roughly and 
briefly, the general 
character of the early 
ones is mediaeval both 
in construction and 
feeling, while that of 
those later in date is 
classic in spirit, re- 
taining much the 
same method of con- 
struction and work- 
manship. This classic 
or, to be more ac- 
curate, Georgian 
spirit which pervades 
so many of them 
asserts itself in the 
proportions, the un- 
broken eaves, the 
absence of dormers, 
and the subordination 
of the gables that 
generally break out 
of the roof at a low 
level, leaving the 
main roof uninter- 
rupted between the TONBRIDGE, KENT 

1 1 




large chimneys flanking the gable ends, or divided by one large stack in 
the middle. At Hollingbourne (see frontispiece) and at Witley (opposite 
page 38) is seen this horizontal character, and also in the cottage at 
Penshurst (page 20) and those in the foreground of the drawing of 
Goudhurst (page 17). A comparison of the roof coverings in these 
counties with those of the Cotswold district shows what great differences 
may arise in the use of two dissimilar materials. In the Cotswold we have 
narrow spans, steep stone-slated roofs, with an almost universal gable treat- 
ment ; in the above counties wider spans and a general tendency, 
particularly in later work, to lower-pitched roofs, hipped at both ends. 
The only district where stone-slated roofs were hipped was in the heart of 
the tile counties. Here there are a number, the builders merely following 
the tradition of tile-roofing. In one example near Crawley, North Sussex, 
(page 35), and in another just over the border, at Chiddingfold, Surrey 
(page 37), the hipped ends have the same little gablets that occur in so 
many of the Surrey cottages, and less often in Kent and Hampshire. These 
grew out of the manner of constructing the hipped ends. As no ridge-board 
was used, " it was therefore obviously inconvenient to run the hip-rafters 
together to a point, and they were therefore run each to about nine inches 
below the junction of the pair of rafters. This of course caused the little 
gablet," 1 and gave a piquant effect to the ends, as seen in the drawings 

1 "Old Cottage and Domestic Architecture, South-West Surrey," Ralph Nevill, F.S.A., F.R.I.B.A. 




BIDDENDEN, KENT 
12 




CRANBROOK, KENT 







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facing page 40. It is worth noticing, as 
an illustration of the conservatism of these 
cottage builders and their tenacity in 
keeping to the old ways, that the form 
of roof adopted to take the chief roofing 
material of a district was followed when 
a sudden change in the geological forma- 
tion of the county compelled them to 
use another. For instance, when heavy 
stone slabs were used for the roof in the 
middle of a tile district the hipped ends 
were retained, although the pitch of the 
roof was made flatter, as in the cottage 
illustrated on page 35. Or, again, if 
thatch was used in Sussex, the tile roof of 
hipped form still persisted (see drawing 
on page 31); and in the Cotswold district, 
if thatch took the place of stone slates, 
the roofs were gabled, as in the cottage 





CANTERBURY, KENT 



UPPER DEAL, KENT 

illustrated on page 85 ; even 
the stone-coped gables were 
retained in some cases with 
the thatched roof. 
There is a rather picturesque 
method of treating the walls 
in Surrey. Small pieces of 
ironstone are inserted in the 
joints of the brickwork ; if a 
stone wall and the blocks do 
not hold up to the corners, 
these are also filled in as well 
as the joints : this forms a 
kind of mosaic and gives 
colour and variety to the wall. 
In Kent another method is 
adopted for the coursed rag 

15 



masonry ; in this case small pieces of flint are placed in the joints 
close together and in a sloping direction, giving an effect like a 
conventional rope pattern. The use of brick in these counties varies con- 
siderably. The chimneys of the cottage at Penshurst, in Kent (page 21), 
show two or three methods. For instance, the set-offs of the buttresses are 
obtained by laying the bricks at right angles to the slopes, and just under 
the base they are laid on the flat. This chimney, flanking the side wall of 
the cottage, with the lower part of stone and brick, and above the 
base all in brick, is a charming example of a well-proportioned Kent 
chimney. The whole cottage shows an exceptional and effective use of brick 
and timber, plaster and tiles and weather-boarding in the gable end. These 
chimney shafts throughout this county are of extraordinary beauty and 
proportions. Every village, one might say almost every cottage, shows 
some individuality, either in the plan of the flues or in the oversailing of 
the brick caps ; and yet withal it is impossible to mistake a Kent chimney 
for one of any other district. Near Newenden (page 25), the panels are 
plastered between the end pilasters ; and occasionally the contrast between 
the plaster and brick is 
reversed, the piers being 
plastered and the panels 
of brick. The cap is 
formed by two slightly 
projecting courses of 
brick, one beyond the 
other, two more courses 
above to form another 
set-off, and a necking 
two or three courses 
below. At Petworth, 
in Sussex (page 25), the 
long sides are broken 
by the projecting withes 
of brickwork that pro- 
bably divide the flue, 
and the cornice is car- 
ried round it, formed, 
in the way already de- 
scribed, by courses of 
brick. Byworth, in 
Sussex (page 25), is 
another interesting ex- 
ample, much the same, 
only with two project- 
ing withes close to- 
gether, and the top 
courses forming the cap 
of another profile. At 
Northiam, to the east of 
16 




GOUDHURST, KENT 




GOUDHURST, KENT 
'7 




GOUDHURST, KENT 

18 



Sussex and on the borders ot Kent (page 25), the plan of the stack 
is again somewhat different, the cornice is without necking and the 
arrangement of the set-offs changed. A rather unusual type occurs 
at Sandhurst Green (page 25), in Kent; four octagon-shaped shafts rise 
from a square base with a space between each. Most of them rise 

out of the roof without any base 
except for the projecting course, 
forming a kind of drip above the 
tiles. The width of these chimneys 
does not alter very much, the great 
majority being i foot 10^ inches, 
that is two-and-a-half bricks, and 
occasionally three bricks wide. 
It has already been pointed out that 
the brickwork in the earlier cottages 
is of English bond, and of Flemish in 
the later examples. The number 
of courses in a given height is also 
different, the former taking five 
courses to eleven-and-a-half inches, 
and the latter four or thereabouts ; 
the joints, too, in English bond are 



wider; and in Flemish bond flared 
headers are almost invariably used. 
Another method of bricklaying is 
to place the bricks on end, with 
stretchers also placed on end, but 




WOOD BRACKETS IN KENT 

parallel instead of at right 
angles to the wall face, the 
courses then being 4^ inches 
deep instead of 2^ inches. 
Between half- timber work 
they are laid in courses or 
stretchers or herring - bone 
fashion. In other walls the 
bricks are occasionally laid 
one header to three stretchers, 
and in Sussex, in the stone 
district, bands of stone are 




WINDOW IN WOOD AND PLASTER 
CANTERBURY, KENT 



sometimes introduced in brick walls of English bond. Brick dentil 
courses, the dentil the width of a header, are common in Sussex, under 
the tile-hanging of the first floor, and dentils the width of a small closer, 
with the same space between, were noticed at Chiddingfold, Surrey. 
The cottage near Crawley, in Sussex (page 35), close to the borders of 
Surrey, is a typical example of the curious mixture of stone-slate roofs, tile- 
hung first storey, with timber and brick on the ground floor. Hipped at 
one end like a tile roof and gabled on the return, which juts out at the further 
side in a picturesque fashion, it illustrates one of those rare examples of 
ornamental and plain tiling used successfully. The iron stays supporting 
the gutter are brought in most effectively. Altogether, this is a charming 
cottage, charmingly drawn. At Goudhurst, probably the most beautiful 
village in Kent (pages 16 and 17), some of the cottages have a distinctly 
Georgian feeling, while others are of an earlier type. In the foreground 
of the larger drawing the open wooden loggia on the right shows a favourite 
way of treating a shop. In the middle distance are examples of weather- 
boarded cottages ; and up the street, at the far end, tile-hung fronts. 
Another characteristic village is Cranbrook (page 13), and the cottage 
(page 14) shows a combination of wood and brick and wood and plaster, 
with pierced and carved barge boards on the overhanging gable ends ; in 
the later examples these are often placed directly on the wall face, as at 
Wilsley House (opposite page 9), a good type of the half-timber dwellings 
in and around this village. Most of the early cottages are of timber 
framing and plaster. The timber, in nearly every case, is of oak, and 




PENSHURST, KENT 
20 




PENSHURST, KENT 
21 




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" the panel is formed by fixing upright hazel rods in grooves cut in top 
and bottom, and by then twisting thinner hazel wands hurdlewise round 
them. The panel is then rilled up solid with a plaster of marly clay and 
chopped straw, and finished with a thin coat of lime plaster." 1 
One of the features of the Surrey cottage, indeed of all those counties where 
tile was the principal roofing material, is the skill with which the tiling is 
adapted to its purpose. It covers the slopes of the buttresses and the 
gathering in of the big chimneys; it covers the roof and first-floor walls, 
works round the valleys and hips, and while never attaining to the freedom 
of Continental work of the same kind, suggests the possibilities of further 
development in its use. This art of covering surfaces with tiles was 
thoroughly understood by these cottage builders. They also used tiles in 
the cornices of the chimneys, introduced them into stone walling to make 
good, and sometimes covered their brick copings. The cottages at Witley 

(page 38) and those at the entrance to Guildford Castle (page 37), both 
in Surrey, show the usual use of this material, the first-floor storey of the 
gableend in theexample 

at Witley projecting 

over the bay on the 

ground floor. In the 

tile-hanging, the lifting 

forward of the lower 

courses was assisted by 

projecting a course of 

brick about an inch- 

and-a-half, the edge of 

the lowest and double 

course covering part 

of the brickwork that 

jutted out. 

At Goudhurst this 

outward curve is ex- 
aggerated into a hood 

extending the whole 

length of a row of cot- 
tages, projecting two 

feet from the wall faces 

and supported by wood 

brackets placed at regu- 
lar intervals to take the 

plate and ends of the 

tiling. At Haslemere, 

in Surrey, the soffit 

of a similar arrange- 
ment takes the form of 



1 " Old Cottage and Domestic 
Architecture, S.-W. Surrey," R. 
Nevill, F.S.A., F.R.I.B.A. 




SANDWICH, KENT 
2 3 




SANDWICH, KENT 
24 



a cove, the tiling being very cunningly hipped at the ends and joined 
up with the lean-to roof. At Tuesley, in Surrey, the same thing occurs 
without the plaster cove, the brackets jutting out like struts. Cottages 
where weather-boarding takes the place of tile-hanging, or hides the 
timbers and plaster of older fronts, are often covered with it entirely, 
with the exception of the base. When the lower edge of the boarding 
is left square, about five inches show with three-quarters of an inch 
projection beyond the one below. It is stopped at each end by small 
strips the whole height of the building, the narrow width facing out- 
wards. The finish at the brick base or at the first-floor level is flat, 
and not tilted outwards as in tile-hanging. Sometimes the boarding 
has an ovolo on the bottom edge ; the vertical joints are over one another 
in many cases, but generally come in the most haphazard fashion. In 
the timber and brick and timber and plaster fronts, the sizes of the 
timbers do not appear to keep to any particular scantling, the intermediate 
and the horizontal pieces often being of comparatively small dimensions 

and varying from 4^ 
ins. to 6 ins., and when 
less it appears as if the 
carpenter had deliber- 
ately placed them on 
the flat, with the 
narrow width of the 
timber exposed. The 
corner posts are from 
9 ins. to 12 ins., and 
the braces larger. In 
one instance a careful 
afterthought was 
noticed. On the first 
floor the curved braces 
springing from the cill 
beam to the outside 
parts were tenoned and 
pinned direct into the 
upright, while on the 
floor above a splayed 
piece or thickening 
out near the top of 
the corner post was 
introduced to give an 
additional thickness 
and strength where it 
received the curved 
brace. 

Another use of tile, 
particularly noticeable 
in parts of Surrey and 

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Kent, is found in the copings and cornices of brick, where a fillet of one or two 
tiles is introduced to form a member. An instance of this occurs at Wingham 
in Kent, at Godalming and Farnham in Surrey, and at Sandwich in Kent 
(pages 23 and 24). In this last county generally there are some interesting 
examples of brick and stone treatment. Evidently inspired by Dutch 
methods, they yet show an unmistakable English character in their direct 
and simple construction and good decorative effects. The fronts of the 
buildings are panelled out in brick, and the panels formed by the projecting 
strips or pilasters of the same material. These projections vary from i in. 
to ii in., and in some cases 2^ ins. Simple geometrical patterns, such 
as squares and circles, connected by strips with bands above and below, 
toothed strips, and dressings of brickwork to the windows projecting in 
the same way, diamond and elliptical shapes raised on brick courses, and 
brick corbel courses, are all characteristics of this work. In the cornices of 
a few of the chimneys a member is sometimes formed of two or three 
bricks in depth. Another simple way of using brick is on the coped gables. 
A course of brick is carried beyond the face of the wall below, then come 
two bricks leaning towards each other, these being finished with others 
laid longways on. In Surrey and Kent the mediaeval spirit continues more 
in construction than in the general form. The feeling for horizontal lines 
is noticed, for the cornice running from end to end of the unbroken eaves of 
even the simplest work soon became dominant after the early decades of the 




LITTLE DIXTER, NORTHIAM, SUSSEX 

2 7 



Renaissance. Hawkhurst, in Kent, and the Cockshot cottages between the 
same village and Highgate, in Kent, both illustrate this tendency ; and 
frequently in these cases where gables occur, the horizontal feeling is 
retained by the line and shadow caused by the projection of the gable 
beyond the face of the work beneath. Probably one of the reasons for 
the classic character of these cottages was due to their being near London 
and the larger towns that came more directly under the influence of the 
Renaissance revival. It is possible that the examples, and they are many, 
which have projecting wings at either end and a recessed hall, are a develop- 
ment of the classic tradition. It is a usual form with the old farm-houses 
in these districts. There is one at Compton, in Surrey, and at Goudhurst, in 
Kent. In Surrey it is tile-hung, and in Kent timber and plaster are used on 
the ground and first floors. In the details of the woodwork and in some of 
the metal fittings there is a curious mingling of classic detail with mediaeval 
peculiarities ot construction and methods of working. The doorway at 
the Post Office, Wickhambreaux, is constructed on mediaeval principles, 
the jambs are chamfered, and the mouldings cut out of the solid ; but, 
instead of stopping on a splayed rail, they return all round the panel. 




BYWORTH, SUSSEX 

28 



; - 




BYWORTH, SUSSEX 
2 9 



The scroll-work too in the 
tympanum is of Classic 
character. Or take again 
the barge board at Wing- 
ham, Kent ; it is essen- 
tially Gothic in its pierced 
work, but the moulding 
under the tiles has a hint 
of Classic feeling ; and so 
also has the window head 
of the bay windows at 
Canterbury (pages 1 5 and 
19). In the stairs at Stone- 
hurst, Surrey, there is also 
this combination of Classic 
mouldings with Gothic 
construction and ornament. 
The mouldings of the newels and 



FITTLEWORTH, SUSSEX 





RYE, SUSSEX 

3 



balusters are classic, while the construc- 
tion of the staircase is mediaeval as 
well as the powdering of the surface 
with stamps of varying forms. A 
characteristic of these old timber and 
plaster cottages is the plastering being 
flush with the timber. 
The metalwork in these counties is 
of exceptionally fine character, and 
most of it is simply the shaping ot 
the material into forms suitable for 
the purpose they have to fulfil ; so, 
one might say, is the iron saucepan 
and the metal teapot produced to-day ; 
but the early work happens to be 
both simple and beautiful, whereas 
the later is merely simple, common- 
place and vulgar. Take any one ot 
the objects of metalwork of the 
interior at Weston-Patrick, in Hamp- 
shire (page 43). The copper pot 
with its iron handle, the wooden 
coffee mill, the copper saucepan or 
the simple fire-dogs every one is 
beautifully shaped, with special atten- 
tion given to the purpose for which it 
is intended, and the demands of neces- 
sity and construction ; such as the 
method of relieving the strain on the 
handle of the copper saucepan where 
it joins the side of the pan, or the 



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FITTLEWORTH, SUSSEX 
3 1 



dainty scroll at the end of the semi-circular handle that hooks through 
the eye attached to the copper pot, the shaping of the feet of the 
fire-dog, or again the single shaped rod of the interior (page 42), 
on which the curtain is drawn. Another interior of a cottage near 
Northiam, in Sussex (page 34), shows the ingle from the inside of the 
hearth. It gives a good general notion of its ample dimensions, with 
the oven doors and the corbelling over of the flue ; the arched flying 
buttress in wood was evidently introduced to reduce the strain on the 
corbelling, an arrangement arising out of the old canopy of wood and 
plaster framework resting upon the chamber floor, and probably the 
origin of the stone chimney pieces of the large manor-houses. There 
is a large oak beam spanning the opening, a raised hearth in the middle, 
and a fireback. 

Round about Maldon, and other parts of Essex, and indeed in many quite out- 
of-the-way districts, it is surprising how much really beautiful and refined 
detail there is to be found in the doors, windows and circular bow-windows 
of the village shops. Over 
and over again it strikes one 
what remarkably able crafts- 
men there were in these 
villages up to quite recent 
years, for the work is very 
late, and has often an Adams 
feeling in it, although in no 
way as elaborate in character. 
Pents with dainty and simple 
strap work on the soffits of 
wood, delicate reeding, and 
wonderfully refined contours 
to mouldings and modillions 
are commonplaces, and must 
have been executed long 
after the introduction of 
machinery for building pur- 
poses. Surrey and also Kent 
are full of this work. In 
Devonshire and Staffordshire, 
districts as far apart as these, 
is seen this type of refined 
and elegant detail, difficult 
to associate with the village 
and small town. It is simi- 
lar in character to many of 
the old shop fronts still 
existing in different parts of 
London, and to the entrance 
doors of the houses in the 
squares about Bloomsbury. 

32 




PETWORTH, SUSSEX 




PETWORTH, SUSSEX 

33 




NORTHIAM, SUSSEX 
34 




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DETAILS OF FIREPLACE ACCESSORIES AT WESTON-PATRICK, HAMPSHIRE 

43 



DIVISION II. 



SUFFOLK AND NORFOLK 



II. -SUFFOLK AND NORFOLK 




HE re-introduction of brickwork in England," says Mr. 
Reginald Blomfield, " was probably due to two causes 
first, to the scarcity of building stones in the neighbour- 
hood, and secondly to the large immigration of Flemings 
into the Eastern Counties." It is therefore singular 
that so few examples of cottages on the east coast of 
Suffolk and Norfolk show the same wonderful skill in 
the use of brick as in Kent. The larger houses, some 
of the smaller ones, and occasionally the buildings in 
the towns, are treated in the fanciful, picturesque and 
masterly way common in the Netherlands. At Yar- 
mouth, the rows (pages 56 and 57), and a street in Sandwich (page 
24), possess a distinctly foreign character. The steep mansard-shaped 
gable at the end of the lane on the left (page 57), the cobble paving and 
narrow width of flagging 
down the middle, the 
open gutters next the 
walls, are all suggestive 
of an alien influence. 
But the villages and the 
country districts appa- 
rently were only in- 
fluenced indirectly, 
owing probably to the 
natural tendency of the 
foreigner to prefer the 
large towns, and even 
there he does not seem 
to have actually engaged 
in building. From the 
lists of the artizans who 
settled in the towns on 
the east coast, it is seen 
that only a small number 
of foreigners were actu- 
ally connected with the 
building trades. At 
Sandwich, in East Kent, 
three joiners, one car- 
penter, and one smith 
are mentioned. The 
natural inference is that 
the foreigner was more 
responsible for peculiari- 
ties than essentials ; and 
this is so, for in spite of WESTON, SUFFOLK 

47 




a foreign flavour about both the cottages and the scenery, the principal 
characteristics are those common to English work. There is the 
same simple, direct and intimate way of treating materials, added to 
a love of quaint conceits and a more fanciful but less workmanlike 
notion in the use of them. There is a playfulness too in the methods 
of using brick and flint, and in some of the gables, simplified treat- 
ments of the extravagant and fantastic curves loved by the Dutchmen. 
But these are few and far between ; the majority of cottage gables 
are almost as English in feeling as the stone buildings of Gloucestershire. 
At Weston, in Suffolk (page 49), the Dutch influence is noticeable in 
the brick quoins (page 164), the rounding of the gable at the apex, 
and in the filling of the tympanum of the arches over the doors (page 47), 
windows, and again in the dentils under the soffits. The finish of 
the four-and-a-half brick arches, which slightly project from the face of 
the main wall (page 164), is much the same method adopted at the inter- 
section of the contrasting curves in the cottage at Yarmouth (page 55). 
Notwithstanding these suggestions of foreign detail, there is an English 
character about the build- 
ing, with its high-pitched 
gable and strong-looking 
chimney, backed up by the 
smaller gable jutting out 
from the main roof. 
The gable ends of the cot- 
tages, without showing 
much variety, differ in 
most instances from those 
in stone and other brick 
districts, by leaving out the 
projecting member of the 
coping. These flush-coped 
gables, with the bricks tail- 
ing into the wall three, four 
and even five times in its 
length, are peculiar to Nor- 
folk and Suffolk. The 
general rule is to tail in the 
bricks at the springing, in 
the middle, and just below 
the apex, the portions 
between these triangular 
shapes being brick on edge. 
In the cottages near Filby 
Broad, Norfolk (page 54), 
the sloping buttress in the 
foreground shows brick 
quoins stretching into the 
flint at right angles to the 
48 ' 




WESTON, SUFFOLK 




WESTON, SUFFOLK. 
49 



slope, a similar method to 
that which has been de- 
scribed. An interesting finish 
to the apex of a gable was 
noticed at Filby Broad : the 
bricks were laid on edge, but 
instead of finishing as a point, 
a cut brick was inserted, point 
downwards, in the triangular 
space left where the bricks on 
edge meet at the junction of 
the slopes. A small pedestal 
in brick was then built on 
the top, and finished with 
another brick at right angles 
to the face of the gable. 
The gables at Southwold, in 
Suffolk, and at Yarmouth, in 
Norfolk, are Dutch in character, and much the same in outline and treat- 
ment. At Southwold (below), in following the line of curves, the bricks 
are laid longitudinally and on the flat, and one curve overlaps the other 
a reminiscence probably of the fantastic curves of Dutch stonework. At 
the junction of the concave ramp with the pedimental treatment of the 
top, the brick coping runs across the face of the gable, the end of the 
upper curve jutting beyond. At Yarmouth (page 55), the bricks are laid 
on edge and overlapping, not unlike that already noted in the finish of 
the arches over the doors and windows at Weston. 




WALBERSWICK, SUFFOLK 




SDUTHWOLD, SUFFOLK 
5 




LOWESTOFT, SUFFOLK 
51 



There are fa number] of beautiful curved gables at Norwich, but in the 
villages along the coast of Suffolk and across the middle of Norfolk there 
are practically none, and only one example of the crow-stepped variety just 
beyond Filby Broad came under the notice of the writer. At Pulborough, 
in West Sussex, there is a crude form of crow-stepped gable in stone, each 
step chamfered on the upper edge. This form of gable is of brick origin, 
and suggests at once the need of steps, a bit of design directly inspired by 
the material. The ornamental iron wall ties were seldom absent from 
both the simple and curved gables, either in the form of an S or a long 
thin piece hammered into a heart-shape at both ends. There were 
sometimes two and even three in a gable, two about halfway up, and 
when a third was used it was placed just under the apex. 
Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the cottages in Norfolk and Suffolk 
is the flint and brick wall. The flints are white and black, rough and 
rounded, the latter still known as cobbles or " petrified kidneys." Both the 
smooth and rough were used in a variety of ways. They might be ranged 
upright in rows, as in one of the group of cottages at Lowestoft, with the 
lighthouse showing above the trees in the background (page 51), or inclined 
to the right in one course, and to the left in the next. An uncommon method, 
suggestive of the galleting in Kent, was to alternate a row of brick headers 
with a row of flints all sloping in one direction. Another was an 
imitation of Flemish bond, the stretcher of brick, the space usually occupied 
by the header being filled in with flint. In some cottages at Lowestoft, 
opposite those seen in the admirable drawing on page 51, a very effective 
diaper of brick headers and flint was used, the quoins of the windows and 
the external angles of the dwelling being of brick. The brick headers at 




KESSINGLAND, SUFFOLK 
5 2 







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53 



Filby Broad (below) were introduced into the walling in a haphazard 
fashion ; and this seems to have been the most general custom. The 
illustration of the gatehouse at Sandwich, in Kent (page 26), is an instance 
of the overlapping of the characteristics of two districts, the ground storey 
walling being a series of diapers of flint and stone, while the upper portion 
is weather boarded, and the roof is of small tiles. Another method of using 
flint stone and brick was noticed in some boundary walling. The base of 
the wall and the coping were of stone, the rest of the wall (about 8 feet 
high) was divided horizontally by a brick band of 'headers, placed midway in 
the height, another course of brick came under the stone coping, while 
stretchers and headers built in alternate courses divided the wall vertically 
into squares, the filling-in being of flint. The tower on the ramparts 
at Yarmouth, in Norfolk, is a remarkable example of the use of flint and 
stone, the upper portion being divided horizontally and vertically by pro- 
jecting bands of stone, and the square faces between are of black flints. 
These black flints were used a great deal in this form of inlaid work, but 
more often in the churches than in the cottage dwellings. 
About all this walling there is a playful and almost casual handling of 
materials that yields the same happy results as those obtained in the use 
of other methods and other materials by the builders in Kent and Surrey ; 
and in both cases the tendency is to reach effects by the use of a variety of 




FILBY BROAD, NORFOLK 
54 



(I Jl 







YARMOUTH, NORFOLK 

55 



material and colour quite the reverse of the means adopted by the stone- 
masons in the Cotswold Hills, where the results are attained by practically 
one material. 

Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex also are rich in good ornamental plaster - 
work, more especially in the Suffolk villages. At Stanstead and Clare, 
for instance, there are some fine examples of this external decoration. 
Mr. Reginald Blomfield, in his history of the Renaissance in England, 
finds an English and foreign tendency in the plaster-work of the sixteenth 
century, the first being attributed to the English workmen, and the other 
the result of employing Dutch and German workmen. The principal 
motive in this design consists in variations of strapwork, and to this 
influence may be attributed the work at Stanstead and other villages in 
the same district. An interesting example is the front of the houses at 
Clare, in Suffolk. The elevation of the ground-floor storey is covered with 
scroll-work on a geometrical basis, and the upper storeys and gables with a 
running pattern ; and a similar pattern forms the frieze between the two 
storeys. A cottage at Wyvenhoe, near Colchester, in Suffolk, has a playful 
interpretation of the same work. 
It is divided into panels and filled 
with a scroll -like pattern and 
interlacing foliage, suggesting 
the ingenious work of a German 
smith. Mr. G. T. Robinson, in 
his preface to Mr. William Millar's 
work on plastering, quotes an in- 
teresting reference to this almost 
extinct plaster -work or stucco : 
" Some men will have their walls 
plastered, some pargetted and 
white-limed, some rough-cast, some 
pricked, somewroughtwith plaster- 
of-Paris." The pricked work is 
probably the method still used 
sometimes in the county of Essex. 
A great amount of plaster-work 
was done in these districts at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century 
and onward, the surfaces diapered 
and stamped with all kinds of pat- 
terns, produced probably by press- 
ing wooden or metal tools into the 
plaster when moist. " About this 
time," says Mr. Robinson, " the 
plasterer's and pargettor's art and 
craft had now become of such 
importance that it was formed 
into a separate guild and com- 
pany in London, in 1501, by YARMOUTH, NORFOLK 





YARMOUTH, NORFOLK 

57 



Henry VII., who granted them 'the right to search, and try and make and 
exercise due search as well, in, upon, and of all manner of stuff touching and 
concerning the art and mystery of pargettors, commonly called plaisterers, and 
upon all work and workmen in the said art and mystery, so that the said 
work might be just, true and lawful, without any deceit or fraud whatsoever.'" 
The steep pantile roofs of the cottages in Norfolk and Suffolk were probably 
in the first place copied by the same workmen who thatched the stately 
and dignified barns in these counties. Unlike the majority of modern 
workmen, the villagers and the craftsmen of the small towns did not always 
follow the same occupation all the year round. At one season a man was 
building, at another probably engaged in bringing in the harvest and 
thatching the hayricks, and shaping them on the lines of the cottage 
buildings. It has been noticed by some authorities that the measure- 
ments of the ricks and the cottages 
occasionally tally almost exactly. At 
first sight this seems preposterous, but 
nothing could have been more natural 
to the craftsman than to follow the 
shapes and measurements with which 
he was familiar. And it may well be 
that the barn builders were the cottage 
builders also. It was of common occur- 
rence that a man followed many trades 
in the country districts. In the records 
of Barnstaple Church there is mention 
of one, David Bedman by name, who 
worked at tiling, rung the bells, cleaned 
the pillars and walls of the church, made 
Communion bread, and cleaned the 
churchyard. In our grandfathers' time, 
and even now in some country districts, 
it is possible to find men who are able 
to turn from one occupation to another. 
A remarkable instance of this versatility 
came under the notice of the present 
writer in a Devonshire village. A man 
was skilled in the making of both furni- 
ture and violins ; and not only could he 
make these things, but he could make 
them well. In another case, in Stafford- 
shire, one of the workmen could lay a 
floor, repair walling and brickwork, make 
farm gates, thatch a roof, and thresh. 
It is significant, that in districts where 
thatch is the prevailing covering for the 
roof, that the same method of keeping 
the thatch in place on the hayricks is 
still adopted. An interesting detail in 

58 




CASEMENT FITTINGS 



connection with the ricks of East Suffolk and West Norfolk are the finials 
at either end, made out of the thatching material ; they resemble an 
opening flower on the end of a long stem. 

The barns, to which we have referred, are covered with the most decorative 
thatching of any district in England. The shaping of the edges, of the 
double cresting over the ridge, and of the edges down the roof when carried 
out in a series of slopes, extend the whole length of a big barn, and form 
certainly one of the most beautiful objects in the landscape. Imagine for 
a moment the yellow-green undulating plains stretching away as far as the 
eye can reach, brilliant red patches of poppies here and there, the large 
church towers, the upstanding sails of the ships that float on the unseen rivers, 
and then these occasional black weather-boarded buildings covered with 
thatch running from end to end, with the edges cut and shaped in all 
manner of scolloping and other patterns. 

Although it is extremely difficult to determine to what extent the Flemings 
influenced the architecture of the villages and the cottages, it was probably 
less in Norfolk and Suffolk than is usually assumed. For instance, chimneys, 
a feature where one would naturally expect some details of definite Flemish 
character, there are none to prove their skill in brick building. There are 
one or two crude examples of circular plan at Blythburgh, and another 
variety at Walberswick (page 50), but for the most part the chimneys are 
disappointing, and generally finish with a double course of projecting 
bricks. Another detail, the dormer, with roof of flatter pitch than the 
main roof, may be foreign, but seems more likely to have arisen from the 
difficulty of covering a small gabled or hipped roof with pantiles. The 
most remarkable point illustrated by these dwellings is the wonderful 
conservatism with which the builders clung to their methods of using 
materials ; as, for example, in the high-pitched gable, with its iron ties 
and monograms, and the simplicity characteristic of English work which 
persisted from generation to generation. The Englishman is generally 
provincial and hates new ways, like Coggan, Thomas Hardy's rustic. 
Says he : "I won't say much for myself, but I've never changed a single 
doctrine. I've stuck like a plaster to the old faith I was born in. I hate 
a fellow who'll change his old ancient doctrines for the sake of getting to 
heaven. I'd as soon turn King's evidence for the few pounds you get." 
Of a piece with this religious constancy are the remarks of Mr. Poyser 
in " Adam Bede." He says : " I'm none for worretting," rising from his 
chair and walking slowly towards the door, " but I should be loath to 
leave the old place and the parish where I was bred and born and father 
before me." 



59 




(Copyright Reserved.) 



WHITBOURNE, HEREFORDSHIRE. FROM A WATER-COLOUR DRAWING BY E. A. CHADWICK. 



DI\ 



HESHIRK, SHROPSHIF 
HEREFORDSHIRE 







-:iRE. FROM A WATtR-COLOUR DRAWING BY E. A. CHADWICK. 



DIVISION III. 



CHESHIRE, SHROPSHIRE 
HEREFORDSHIRE 




III. CHESHIRE, SHROPSHIRE AND 
HEREFORDSHIRE 



O two districts could illustrate with more point the 
variety of types in the English cottage than the counties 
on the east coast north of the Thames, and those of 
Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. The remark- 
able contrast between them is more than one of detail, 
for neither the materials nor the construction are the 
same, and in the general effect there can be no com- 
parison whatsoever. The one is simple both in form 
and construction, the other rich in effect and more 
complicated in structure. The one is chiefly red on 

the landscape, the other chiefly black-and-white. The one has steep 

roofs, the other steep and flat. Those to the east are little known, 

those towards the north- 
west are well known. 

To the great majority of 

the public, the study of 

architecture is generally 

of little interest, but 

these cottages of black- 
and-white, more especi- 
ally those of Cheshire, 

have always found a 

place in the heart of 

the incorrigibly senti- 
mental Englishman. 

More generally known 

than those of any other 

counties, they have been 

freely imitated with a 

wanton disregard for the 

real origin of their 

charm. The picture 

painter, the scene painter, 

the man in the street, 

the man who lives in 

the suburbs, and last but 

not least the speculative 

builder with romantic 

tendencies, are all united 

in their admiration; and . ; , 

truth to say, this lively 

preference for the obvious 

in cottage architecture NETHER ALDERLEY, CHESHIRE 

63 




is easier to understand than the attitude of the architect who rhapsodises 
over them, and yet on the first opportunity feebly plants on the plaster-work 
of his client's house a few thin upright and cross pieces and dignifies 
it by the name of half-timbering. Architects and their clients started with 
the placid assumption that these half-timbered cottages could be built 
without the necessity of using the original methods of construction. In no 
buildings has the construction been so deliberately made the foundation of 
all that was interesting and beautiful in their design as in these old cottages, 
for with the exception of the small pieces of wood that helped to form 
the geometrical patterns and diapers of black-and-white, no timbers 
were introduced except for some definite work in holding the building 
together. Whether the result was to be simple or elaborate, it was always 
based on the main lines of the construction ; nothing, therefore, could be 
more ludicrous than to imagine that this system of building might be copied 
by planting on the plaster these boards, or by whitewashing brickwork, and 
mimicking the timber by painting. The beauty of the old cottages was more 
than skin deep, or rather more than the depth of paint and one-inch boards. 
In the south of Cheshire, 
the painting of the white- 
washed brickwork with 
vertical and horizontal 
black stripes is the favourite 
method of restoring, and 
very often the timbers are 
not even correctly copied. 
If such things are done in 
the name of restoration, it 
is almost impossible to ex- 
pect that new buildings 
will fare any better. The 
fact is, no cottages are so 
difficult to build as those 
in the spirit of the old 
timber-and-plaster dwell- 
ings, and yet no style has 
been cribbed more often, 
and with such disastrous 
results. In view of this 
popular if questionable ap- 
preciation, it is strange how 
little the originals have 
been looked after. Timbers 
have been covered with 
plaster-work, or superseded 
by neat brickwork, carving 
has been damaged or re- 
moved altogether, and 
stone roofs have been taken 
64 




CHESTER, CHESHIRE 




ALDERLEY EDGE, CHESHIRE 
65 




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SANDBACH, CHESHIRE 



middle towards the outer edges, sometimes in two 
four ; if in two, from 
the middle to the top 
and bottom edges ; if 
in four, towards the 
four outer corners of 
the stone. This only 
occurs when the ma- 
sonry is built of large 
stones worked fairly 
smooth, as in the cot- 
tage near Prestbury 
(opposite), but in other 
instances the wall is of 
rough and irregularly 
coursed stones, com- 
paratively small, with 
the large bonding 
stones at the angles 
and in the walls of the 
chimneys. The height 
of the wall varies. At 
Much Wenlock many 
of the buildings are 
stone up to the first- 
floor level, but the 
general rule is two to 
three feet, the wood 



off and covered 
with the common 
thin slates of 
ordinary manu- 
facture. 

The same method 
of construction 
used in the large 
halls is followed 
in the cottages. 
There is the same 
low wall, often of 
tool - marked ma- 
sonry, the stones 
as much as three 
feet long, one foot 
deep and ten 
inches wide ; and 
the tool marks 
always from the 
directions, at others in 




PRESTBURY, CHESHIRE 



framing being set back about an inch to two inches. The stone base 
of the corner house at Much Wenlock (below) is only about eighteen 
inches from the level of the ground to the framing, and even lower 
where the ground rises. A part of the house to the left is built entirely 
of stone, and probably is of later date. These additions, wholly of stone 
or of brickwork, and often white-washed, occur frequently and with 
the most happy results. At Prestbury village, in Cheshire, for example, 
some of the half-timbered dwellings are side-by-side with others of 
this white-washed character, the wood frames of the windows set in a 
little way, with the wide leads of the transomed windows painted white. 
The contrast is a pleasant one, and a happy relief from the black timbers 
of the other cottages. The windows of many of them are opened and shut 
with window-fasteners of fascinating design. 

It has been said that the chief characteristics of these cottages and large 
timber buildings are their geometrical patterning within the main timbers, 
the heavy scantlings of the woodwork and the flat pitch of the roofs. These 
details are a more incidental than essential feature of the style. Much 
of the patterning of the more elaborate examples in Cheshire could be 
omitted, as it has been to a large extent in Shropshire and Oxfordshire. 
The scantlings of the half-timber work are not always heavy, and the roofs 
were probably, many of them, originally thatched. It is true that a 
number of the gables have the flat pitch necessary for heavy stone slates, 
but the majority are at an angle suitable for thatching. Moreover, those 




MUCH WENLOCK, SHROPSHIRE 

68 



\ 




MUCH WENLOCK, SHROPSHIRE 

69 



which are thatched suggest that it is the material for timber cottages, like 
those at Bromfield, in Shropshire (below), the cottage at Alderley Edge, in 
Cheshire (page 65), and the Boar Inn at Sandbach, in Cheshire. The chief 
characteristics are the methods of construction, which have already been 
detailed in Mr. E. A. Quid's interesting notes on timber buildings. He 
says : "Stout oak sills are laid horizontally upon a low wall of stone or brick, 
and into these are tenoned upright posts, the larger ones being placed at 
the external angles. Upon these upright posts, horizontal heads are placed 
just below the level of the chamber floor, and the intervening spaces formed 
into panels with thinner pieces, the whole being framed and tenoned 
together and pinned with oak pins. The joists of the floor are then laid, 
resting upon the horizontal heads, and frequently being partly supported 
by internal beams, which appear in the ceilings of the house. Upon 
the ends of the joists the sill of the upper storey is laid, and the framing 
is, more or less, a repetition of that below, the head forming a support 
for the spars of the roof, and being frequently carried over at the ends as 
a wall plate to carry the overhanging gables." Where timber ridges occur 
they are generally directly beneath the rafters and placed anglewise. 
The sizes of the timbers vary considerably. At Alderley Edge some of 
the angle posts measure 8 ins. and 9 ins. square, and the other timbers 
7 ins. and 8 ins. on the face, the wooden pegs pinning them together project 
f in. and of the same diameter. They appear to be slightly wedge-shaped, 
probably to allow for the tightening up of the framing when the usual 
and inevitable shrinkage had taken place after exposure to wind and 
weather. The panels between the framing are of brickwork, which here, 
as in many other cases, project. This may be due to the shrinkage of the 
timber, for it is sometimes flush in the same building. When the panels 




BROMFIELD, SHROPSHIRE 
70 



' 




CULMINGTON, SHROPSHIRE 
71 



are of plaster, they " are filled in with a basket-work osier foundation, 
daubed over with clay strengthened with straw or stringy weeds. The 
finishing coat is of plaster on both sides, richly matted with hair, and 
frequently set back half an inch or more." In the panels of a cottage at 
Alderley Edge, the woodwork is arranged in the form of diapers the 
plaster squares alternating with the wood and pinned into the cross-pieces 
and uprights. In the same cottage the pattern occurs in diamond-shaped 
panels in the gable. The general effect is rich and barbaric, a characteristic 
noticeable in the carving and the gouge cuts on the barge boards and brackets. 
Many of the details recall the work of savage races, such, for instance, as 
the zig-zag cuttings on the windows in Church Street, Ledbury, the brackets 
and barge boards at Middlebrook, the scolloping of the edges of the beam 
on the gables at Alderley Edge. Another characteristic bit of detail is 
the doorway at Congleton in Cheshire (page 66), with its shaped lintel, the 
initials and date in the middle, the enriching of the beam over the lintel 
with scolloping in the middle member, and dentils beneath. The timbers 
as they get nearer the top of the buildings are filled in with the geometrical 
patterns, like those in the 
gable at Prestbury (page 
67). The large spaces 
between some of the tim- 
bers is generally an altera- 
tion or restoration filled in 
with brick. The illustra- 
tions of the cottages at 
Alderley Edge, Prestbury, 
and Sandbach (pages 65 
and 67) are all typical of 
the elaborate patterning. 
Directly Shropshire is 
approached, the timbering 
becomes less playful and 
more in vertical and hori- 
zontal lines as, for in- 
stance, at Craven Arms 
(page 73). The corner 
posts are generally thicker 
than the rest, and strutted. 
Among some of the geo- 
metrical patterns are the 
diamond and the quatrefoil, 
while at Alderley Edge 
the curved pieces of wood 
in the cove are pierced in 
the form of a cross. 
Another fine example is 

1 " Old Halls in Lancashire and 
Cheshire," by Henry Tayler. 

7 2 




BROMFIELD, SHROPSHIRE 




CRAVEN ARMS, SHROPSHIRE 

73 




HARTON, SHROPSHIRE 

74 



that at Prestbury, in Cheshire (page 67). An interesting detail 
noticeable in the chimney of this cottage is the drip in stepped brick, 
a common enough detail in Worcestershire and Warwickshire. In 
Herefordshire and Shropshire the timbers are not so close together, nor is 
there the same tendency to run to pattern as in Cheshire. Many of the 
cottages, in fact, have a near relationship to those in the South-Eastern 
counties, although generally the construction is much in advance of the 
majority in Kent or Surrey. This superiority was due to two reasons, first, 
to the fact that, unlike Kent and Surrey, where bricks and tiles were used 
as much as wood, in Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire wood was 
the chief material ; and, secondly, to the influence of that remarkable 
man John Abel, the carpenter-architect of Hereford. With him, as with 
the other little known cottage builders of these counties, the terms " to 
build " and " to timber " were synonymous. 

This carpenter exercised considerable influence in his own county and in 
Shropshire. His work is restrained, and shows a careful consideration 
for the right spacing 
of the timbers, 
which places it 
much above the 
over - elaborated 
Cheshire fronts. 
Nothing could be 
more effective than 
the zigzag disposi- 
tion of timbers on 
the Market House 
at Ledbury, being 
both decorative and 
constructive. The 
examples at Pem- 
bridge (pages 77 
and 78), and Orleton 
(page 79), in Here- 
fordshire, and the 
Reader's House at 
Ludlow, in Shrop- 
shire, are either his 
work or influenced 
by him. He lived 
to the age of ninety- 
seven, and a few 
years before his 
death made his own 
monument, engrav- 
ed his own effigy 
and those of his 
two wives, and the LEY, HEREFORDSHIRE 

75 




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symbols of his occupation, the rule, the compass, and the square, and, 
alas ! wrote his own epitaph, as follows : 

" This craggy stone a covering is for an architect's bed, 
That lofty buildings raised high, yet now lies down his head, 
This line and rule, so Death concludes, are locked up in store, 
Build they who list or they who wist, for he can build no more. 
His house of clay could hold no longer, 
May Heaven's frame him a stronger. , ABEL 

Vive ut vivas in vitam zternam." J 

The esteem in which the known man, John Abel the carpenter, was held 
in Hereford and the immediate district is only one instance of the 
important position generally occupied by the unknown village carpenter 
or smith. It is certain that the local craftsman was by no means the 
negligible factor in the village life that he is to-day. His position was 
often an official one, his pay coming to him through grants of land, and 
while many of the trades or crafts were hereditary, the trades connected 
with commerce and the supplying of goods from distant markets were not 
so. Those who produced, those who built the walls, hammered the gates, 
and chiselled the wood 
were the privileged folk 
of the village commu- 
nity, and not those who 
were merely a superior 
kind of pedlar like the 
modern manufacturer. 
Amongst savages the 
smith was one of the 
most important members 
of the tribe, and the 
number of village inns 
called after the principal 
trades or crafts is another 
instance of the important 
position themason, smith 
and carpenter held in 
the village. It is prob- 
able that in addition to 
gathering at the inn for 
convivial meetings, they 
settled points of detail 
and construction over 
their tankards of beer. 
The chimneys of the 
cottages in Cheshire 
have not much charac- 
ter, but in Shropshire 



1 "Ancient Timber Edifices 
of England," by John Clayton, 
A.R.I.B.A. 

78 




PEMBRIDGE, HEREFORDSHIRE 




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ORLETON, HEREFORDSHIRE 
79 



there are examples almost equal to those in Kent. At Craven Arms 
(page 73) there is a remarkably fine one with well-proportioned brick 
shafts springing from the large projection carried up in stone. At 
Whitbourne, in Herefordshire (opposite page 61), there is an interesting 
chimney in brick, with an unusual cap connecting two shafts of different 
design. A peculiar feature was noticed at Wellington. The projecting 
V-shapes on the shaft "were abruptly finished square a few courses below 
the capping, and suggested that the bricklayer felt he was unable to 
mitre his capping round the projection. In another unusual group of 
shafts in this village there are five flues, the middle one placed anglewise 
and the others attached to each of its sides, thus forming a star-shaped 
plan of plain, square shafts, which rise off a square stone base. The 
same plan occurs at Cressage. Besides the timber cottages in these counties 
there are some rough-cast examples with beautiful thatched roofs ; and 
on the moors between Buxton and Macclesfield, on the borders of 
Derbyshire and Cheshire, are a number of whitewashed dwellings. These 
are simple, crude rough-stone structures, with plain square chimneys of 
the same material, and the 
roofs covered with stone 
slates ; the mouldings, if 
any, are of the most primi- 
tive character, and the walls 
either lime-whited or left 
untouched. The moorlands 
on each side of the steep road 
that leads out of Buxton 
(also in the direction of the 
inn called "The Cat and 
Fiddle," and from there 
down into Macclesfield) are 
dotted here and there with 
these single cottages and 
farm buildings. 
To follow this building 
tradition in preference to 
that of the more usual wood 
and timber dwellings in the 
same county, would seem to 
be most in harmony with 
the geological formations of 
the north. In Derbyshire 
to the east, and Lancashire to 
the north of Cheshire, stone 
is the prevailing material 
and is used in a somewhat 
similar, though at the same 
time more elaborate, manner 
than is usual on the moors. 
80 




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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, 
RBYSHIRE, NORTH 



DIVISION IV. 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE, OXFORDSHIRE, 
DERBYSHIRE, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE, OXFORD- 
SHIRE, DERBYSHIRE AND NORTH- 
AMPTONSHIRE. 

HE charm of the Cotswold cottage and village is unique. 
The wonderfully quiet and mellow beauty is best appre- 
ciated, perhaps, on first entering a village or hamlet 
towards the evening. Often at the foot of the hills the 
approach is made under ideal conditions. Half-way 
down the incline glimpses are caught between the trees 
of grey and yellow stone walls, and to the right and left 
the ground rises and curves gently upward in long 
stretches of rolling upland, covered with waving corn 
ripe for the harvest, alternating with green fields and 
patches of newly-turned-up soil. Behind the village 
there is a red wafer sun in a sky the colour of lead, and as the 
visitor draws near, the many gables and chimneys stand out in sharp 
silhouette. The hills round about are touched with the sombre glow of 





WELFORD-ON-AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 



the vanishing sun, while here and there the chimney of a cottage and the 
tower of the church are splashed with ruddy light. The hollows in the 
hills are in shadow, birds are asleep, the villagers at rest, and everywhere 
there broods that intense stillness of departing day, broken by the faint and 
melancholy sound of the breeze blowing across the fields of corn. In the 
glare of the morning sunlight the village is different, but its fascination 
remains the same, for, like all great work, it has the power to stamp upon 
the mind and heart that distinct and lasting impression which only strong 
and simple nature can give. 

With the exception perhaps of Yorkshire, and parts of Lancashire, there 
are no counties in which the cottages are so characteristically English as 
those up and down the Cotswold Hills. They are all offsprings of the spirit 
which hovers about the moors of Yorkshire and Lancashire, of Wuthering 
Heights and of lonely Egdon Heath. Stone is used throughout stone 
for the walls, stone for the windows, and stone for the roofs. They 
can generally be dated between the latter part of the sixteenth and the 
end of the following century. In the earlier buildings there is a distinct 
Gothic feeling akin to the Perpendicular work of the previous century, 
particularly noticeable in buildings like the almshouses at Campden, 
in Gloucestershire (page 93), the house and shop at Burford, in Oxford- 
shire (page 104), and the entrance at Rothwell, in Northamptonshire 
(page 1 06). This medieval character never disappeared entirely, although 
there crept into the details and mouldings some of the classic forms 




WELFORD-ON-AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 
86 




\VELFORD-ON-AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

87 



which had already become the current design of the larger towns. 
The parapet of the cottage at Weston-sub-Edge (page 90) is probably 
a Renaissance innovation, and is found again at Burford, in Oxford- 
shire, in the dwellings of a more classic character. But fashions in 
details might come and might go, the heart of the Cotswolds was 
mediaeval and always retained in its essentials the villagers' expression of 
the middle ages. And just as long as the builders of these cottages 
remained in close touch with their materials and the villages in which 
they first saw the light, this spirit dwelt in their work. The late examples 
in Campden and Mickleton are clothed with new mouldings and newer 
forms, but the spirit and the methods are the same. There is no other 
district in England that has expressed so simply and so beautifully in terms 
of building the unity between the soil, the dwelling, and its inhabitants. 
The spell of the severe outlines, the fascination and charm of the simple 
details, the quaint fancy and the appearance of strength suggested by the stone 
walls and slate roofs, are full of a magic that no number of visits can dispel. 
These men from the Cotswold District knew instinctively the value of 
the rightly-placed 
ornament and the 
accumulation of well- 
proportioned parts to 
form a unity of ex- 
pression, and the place 
for simplicity and the 
position for playful- 
ness. Their strong in- 
dividuality is shown 
in the design of the 
kneelers at the foot 
of the gables, in the 
finials, and the tablets 
(page 165), contain- 
ing the names or 
initials and date of 
those who occupied 
and possibly built the 
cottages ; they even 
show the changes of 
occupants. Many of 
them are admirable 
and complete little 
masterpieces of well- 
cut lettering. Names 
in full occur on some, 
and others in addition 
bear a quaint legend 
or device. The ar- 
rangement of the 
88 




WELFORD-OX-AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 




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illages in which 

irk. The late examples 

ouldings and newer 

:;ie. There is no other 

beautifully in terms 

Celling, and its inhabitants. 

'd charm of the simple 

- h . uggested by the stone 

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WESTON-SUB-EDGE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 




WELFORD-ON-AVON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 
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lettering alters considerably, the later ones being freer in treatment ; their 
spacing is charming, and no two are alike. The tablet at Stanton 
(page 165), dated 1604, with the names "John, James," nicely arranged 
below the date, is a good type of one of these well-proportioned panels ; less 
careful and more fanciful is the one at Minster Lovel (page 165), with the 
initials " H.H.," and dated 1694. There is one at Matlock on the 
Wheatsheaf Inn that suggests the wheat. 

The walling is full of variety in Derbyshire ; the large size of the 
stone-dressed quoins is characteristic, and measures as much as 2 ft. long, 
12 ins. deep, and 5 ins. on the bed. The doorway at Youlgreave 
(page 110) is a typical specimen, with roughly chamfered edge on the 
jambs, the head being left square. In some the faced edges are 
carefully dressed for an inch and the rest slightly boasted and often 
crudely honeycombed. Others are chiselled in definite lines along 
the length of the stone. Another method was roughly to smooth 
the stone, dress the edges for an inch, and work the rest of the 
stone as if a comb had been drawn across it. This applies only to the 
dressings, the rest of the walling was more or less rough, and in some of 
the cottages stones here and there projected as much as 6 ins. without being 
squared off. All the work in Youlgreave is coarse, the panels of doors and 
windows often set forward an inch beyond the wall face, and in some instances 
considerably more. The entrance to a cottage at Bakewell (page 108) 
shows this characteristic. In the example at Taddington (page 113) 




CAMPDEN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 
92 







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the stone head and sill of the windows are continued as much as 9 ins. beyond 
the outer line of the jambs, a method of construction made necessary by the 
small width of the stone that was carried up without any bonding into the 
walling, except at the top and the bottom. This primitive arrangement is 
common in both Derbyshire and Lancashire, where the ordinary walling was 
also built round the windows without any dressing whatsoever, in the same 
way as at Ebrington, in Gloucestershire (page 101) ; the lintels and sills 
(if any) were of wood. The same feature occurs in Oxfordshire. At 
Chipping Campden the stones of the masonry are dressed with a good deal 
of care and laid evenly in courses of varying depth, or in deep bands 
alternating with narrow ones. The walling at Rothwell, in Northampton- 
shire (page 1 06), is built in this way. It is noticeable that in many cottages 
the stones of the masonry are of larger dimensions in the lower part of the 
building, and then, as if to guard against a too sudden transition to smaller 
work an occasional deep band is introduced into the thinner courses. At 
Bibury, one of the most beautiful villages in Gloucestershire (pages 96 
and 97), where the ordinary roughly coursed masonry is almost universal, one 
of the chimney gables is banded with smooth-dressed masonry, and pigeon- 
holes are introduced in others with a thin projecting course of stone beneath. 
These stone bands occur again at Little Rissington and in some farm buildings 
outside Burford. A variation of the dry walling used so much for the 
gardens, fences, and the divisions between the fields, occurs both here and 
at Burford. Instead of being constructed in the usual way, entirely without 
mortar, three and four jointed courses are alternated with six or seven dry. 




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UPPER GUITING, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

94 




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In all the varieties of walling there are none that show mere cleverness. 
When a change occurs, it is for some obvious reason. It might be quarried 
in block, or it might be in thin layers, or courses of red iron stone might 
alternate with those of limestone ; but whatever method was followed, it 
was determined very largely by the local quarry. It was not invariably so, 
for the carefully dressed stone in the majority of chimney shafts and in the 
bay windows occur side by side with ordinary walling in the rest of the 
cottage. Large stones were generally used, too, for the jambs of the stone 
dormers. Before a satisfactory treatment of this feature was accomplished 
it went through three developments, not necessarily arising out of each 
other, but gradual improvements that might occur in one village and not 
in another, even where the rest of the work was of a superior character. 
At Chipping Campden, for instance, where perhaps there is the best masonry, 
the early dormer is general, while at Bibury, where the masonry is not so 
carefully finished, the dormer has blossomed into one of a thoroughly stone 
character. The original dormer was a copy of the wood and plaster type 
common in the adjoining counties, such as those at Broadway, in Worcester- 
shire (page 119), and at 
Duckiington, in Oxfordshire 
(page 1 03). Itwasnotan exact 
reproduction, the tile roof of 
Warwickshire and Wor- 
cestershire changing into one 
of slate as in the Cotswold 
counties. This survival of 
form, change of material, and 
general overlapping of types 
is particularly characteristic 
of the cottage at Broadway 
(page 1 1 9). Another interest- 
ing detail is the coping at 
Weston-sub-Edge (page 90) ; 
a rather unusual arrangement 
was adopted, the walls were 
coped, the gables running out 
without any coping. The 
absence of this detail in so 
many of the small gables 
probably grew out of these 
modifications of the original 
dormers. Instead of wood 
frames, stone mullions were 
adopted, and the plaster 
cheeks and filling-in over the 
windows were avoided by run- 
ning the roof down to the 
eaves level, as at Upper Swell 
(page 102), Upper Guiting 
96 




BIBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 




BIBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

97 




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STANTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 




STANTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 
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99 



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ARLINGTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 
100 




101 



(page 94) ,and Arlington (page 100), forming a gable rising from the face of 
the cottage. This is peculiar to Bibury and the surrounding neighbourhood, 
and is only occasionally seen in the north of Gloucestershire. The village 
of Willersey (page 95) shows dormers with and without coping, and raised 
very little above the stone slates, there being no bye-laws requiring that 
they should be 15 ins. above the roof. The group of cot'tages at Bibury are 
remarkably fine examples of the simpler work in Gloucestershire. A charac- 
teristic detail is the weathering at the base of the chimney in the gable 
end (page 97), which follows the same pitch as the gable, like the examples 
at Stanton (page 98) ; but in some cottages, like those at Chedworth, 
Arlington and Gretton, it is taken straight across. At the Post Office, 
Weston-sub-Edge (page 91), the gable coping is continued up the face of the 
chimney the width of its projection from the wall. The arrangement of 
the flues is generally in the form of a square or oblong stack, but there are 
instances in which the plan is that of a cross, and in others placed angle- 
wise, as in the almshouses at Campden (page 93). A small space is left 
between them and the two shafts, connected at the top by the necking 
and capping, and at the 
bottom by the base. 
The doorways and door 
heads are very varied ; 
on many of them the 
builders lavished all their 
knowledge of detail, as 
at Willersey, Broadway, 
Aldsworth, Stow-on-the- 
Wold (page 162). The 
first one has come under 
the influence of classic 
forms, and the example 
at Aldsworth (page 162) 
shows a stone head sup- 
ported on wood corbels ; 
this may be a restoration, 
but certainly appears to 
be original. The finial 
on the gable is another 
detail to which a great 
amount of attention was 
given. That at Stanton 
(page 165) is a usual type 
ofquite Gothic character, 
while the one at Arling- 
ton (page 165) is classic 
in feeling. Some of the 
doorways show the in- 
fluence of the Perpen- 
dicular style, with double 

102 




UPPER SWELL, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 







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h as the gable, like the examples 

i, like those at Chedworth, 

>ight across. At th. Office, 

/i'.ble coping is continued up c of the 

m the wall. The arra- >r of 

-? or oblong stack, bi. 
the plan is r a cross, and in others places 

;.s at Campden (page 93). A small space is 

<hafts, connected at the top by the necking 

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The dooru .. 

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be original. 

on the gable is another 
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DUCKLINGTON, OXFORDSHIRE 

I0 3 



mouldings and a fillet between the inner moulding following the line of the 
four-centre arch, and the other taken up and carried across square. Not- 
withstanding the variety of simple detail, the flights of fancy are practically 
confined to these doors, the finials, the tablets, and the metal-work. 
Chimneys, windows, and mouldings are repeated time after time with 
little variation, and the fenestration of windows and disposition of the 
masses of masonry seldom indicate any new and startling departure. The 
builders kept to the well-beaten track of tradition; what was good enough 
for the father was good enough for the son. Everything tended to unity 
of effect ; and this, perhaps more than their picturesqueness, is the distinctive 
and distinguishing feature of the Cotswold village and cottage. It consti- 
tutes their chief claim to rank with the best English work of any period. 
Other villages may show greater variety, a more individual treatment of 
detail and a less conservative regard for tradition, but nowhere else do 
the methods, the details, and the materials combine to achieve such 
wonderful and complete unity of expression, such abiding tranquil beauty. 
It is strange that in spite of their good proportions and beauty, the men who 
built them were occasionally careless in their construction, and ignored too 
often that " the said work shall be 
just, true and lawful without any 
deceit whatsoever." There were 
scamps then as now, but in the 
main they sought perfection or 
workmanship, knew what was 
good and what was bad. Their 
cottages are eloquent of beautiful 
walls, so well built that they will 
probably be standing long after 
much present-day building. 
One of the charms of the Cots- 
wold cottages is the high-pitched 
roof covered with stone slates, 



the larger ones hung at the eaves, 
the sizes getting gradually smaller 
towards the ridge. Mr. Guy 
Dawber, in his notes on " Old 
Cottages, Farm-houses and other 
Stone Buildings in the Cotswold 
District," gives the names of these 
slates. He says, " The bottom or 
under slates at the eaves, the one 
bedded on the top of the walls, is 
called a ' cussome.' This has a 
slight tilt downwards, to throw the 
water off, and projects some 7 ins. 
or 8 ins. Above this the eaves com- 
mence with long and short ' eigh- 
teens,' down to long and short 
104 




BURFORD, OXFORDSHIRE 




OUNDLE, .NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 



'elevens'; then we have long and short ' wivetts,' 'becks,' 'bachelors,' 
'.movedays,' 'cuttings,' and long and short 'cocks' at the apex under the 
cresting. They are hung dry with oak or deal pegs, which are driven 
tight into holes in the slates, whilst they are being sorted to sizes, or else 
nailed in the ordinary manner. When plastered or torched with hair 
mortar, level with the underside of the laths, they will last for years, as so 
many existing buildings testify. The 'valleys' are formed of the same 
slates, in a wide sweep with no hard line of demarcation where the roofs 
intersect, laid in regular formation and ranging with the ordinary slating. 
Each valley slate has its distinctive name, the centre one being the 
' bottomer ' with two ' lie-byes ' on either side, and above and below in 
the next courses two 'skews' to break joint." 

The cottages of Derbyshire have a distinct character of their own, although 
the material is the same. The stone-work is bolder and coarser in detail, 
the builders less playful, and the work generally much more akin to the 
cottages of Lancashire than of the Cotswold district. The transom in the 
windows is a feature which we think is not found in Oxfordshire or 
Gloucestershire. The Derbyshire mill at Alport (page 1 1 1), without having 
any particular architectural "features," is typical of the stone walling in 
the district ; and also the pair of cottages in the same village (page 112), 
although they might easily be taken by the unobservant for Gloucester- 
shire examples. Examples of the Derbyshire cottages occur at Bakewell 
(page 1 08). They are reached by steps and have the plain jambs to doors 
and windows with large stone quoins. There is a Gothic feeling in 

105 



the door head, and in the detail of the lintel over the window in the example 
shown ; all the stone jambs, lintels and sills are square, with neither chamfer 
nor moulding. Characteristic also are the piers each side of the entrance 
at the foot of the steps, made in one stone, with half-round tops, and the 
stone built in end-ways on. 

A fine door at Youlgreave (page 1 10) shows again the coarse feeling in the 
huge lintel and large quoins; the jambs of the doorway are chamfered, but 
the lintel is taken across square. The tablets are not so well designed as in 
Gloucestershire, and are much more primitive. The one at Ashford 
(page 160) has the initials "F.H. A." and the "i 680" arranged in the simplest 
and most prosaic way : " F." is placed at the top, " H. A." is placed below, and 
the date beneath. It is not particularly happy; nor is the one at Little 
Longstone, with the initials "Z.E." and the date " i 575 " planned in the apex 
of the gable, a favourite position for them in Derbyshire. The detail of 
the doorway at Ashford is much like the Cotswold example at Stow-on-the- 
Wold, only the brackets supporting the pent are without fluting, and in the 
former there is a bed moulding carried round the top of the corbel or bracket. 
Some of the details of kneelers are 
worthy of study ; those at Stanton and at 
Alport (page 1 60) are typical. All of these 
border on crudeness ; for instance, the 
peculiar way the coping is carried over 
the corbelling ; note, too, how deep the 
corbel stone is carried back into the 
wall. A very simple form of door-head 
is that at Ashford (page 160), merely a 
flat piece of stone carried at each end 
by two small projecting brackets. A 
curious plan for a window jamb is 
noticeable at Alport (page 160). 
No one can visit these counties of 
stone architecture without being con- 
scious of the certainty in their work, 
and the unhesitating use of the tra- 
ditional methods of building towards 
the accomplishment of the final result. 
There are no superfluous bits of orna- 
ment, no dragging in of unnecessary 
moulding, and no affectation of sim- 
plicity. From the foundations to the 
ridge the building rises without effort, 
without needless divagation, each part 
well proportioned, each part related to 
the other, and the whole harmonious 
and complete. 

In the relation of the garden to these 
cottages there is apparently no conscious 
approach to anything like deliberate 
1 06 




ROTHWELI., NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 




HADDON, DERBYSHIRE 
107 



design, unless we except the lodge-keeper's garden at Haddon (page 107); 
for the rest there are certainly noticeable definite characteristics which 
bring them more into line with the "formal garden" than with the 
irresponsible vagaries of the landscape gardener. Without being limited 
or curtailed by the rigid and more architectural character of Haddon 
or Levens, the small spaces in front of the cottages are generally laid out 
with some regard to the house and the passer-by. At Ebrington it was 
noticed that a clipped tree, cut in the form of a peacock or other bird, 
had been planted in the corner of the garden just at the bend of the 
road. Happily and well placed, it gave character to the cottage and 
pleasure to those that passed by. It is extraordinary the number of 
charming effects that are realised in all these old country gardens, 
without overcrowding the very limited area. Nothing could have been 
easier than to unduly emphasize some portions at the expense of others, 
or to allow one part to dominate the rest. It may be, that in examples 
like those at Witley, in Surrey (opp. page -157), and at Goudhurst, in 
Kent (page 18), the blaze of colour and the want of neatness justifies 
itself ; but as a rule the villagers generally attempted to reduce their 
gardens to some sort of order. Not- 
withstanding the playfulness and irregu- 
larity of many of them, the smallest 
show some regard for careful arrange- 
ment. Half the charm of the example 
at Welford-on-Avon, in Gloucestershire 
(page 89), is derived from the straight 
avenue, terminating at the far end in 
the arched opening, cut and shaped in 
the hedge. It is generally around some 
such simple idea as this that the garden 
is laid out, the degree of primness of 
the hedges and the flower beds depend- 
ing upon the idiosyncrasies of the 
owner. At By worth, in Sussex (page 29), 
there is another simple and effective 
example, with a shaped shrub at the 
gates and flowers blooming on the 
boundary wall. Cut yews on each side 
of the entrances are often seen, and 
carefully clipped privet hedges three or 
four feet wide. At the back of a cottage 
at Broadway, in Worcestershire, there 
is an old garden surrounded with high 
walls covered by fruit trees, and the 
middle bed crowded with hollyhocks 
and other old-fashioned flowers. Between 
the centre plot and the narrow bed next 
to the walls is the pathway paved with "''-.., v 

stone flags. BAKEWELL, DERBYSHIRE 



I 





BAKEWEI.L, DERBYSHIRE 
109 





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ALPORT, DERBYSHIRE 
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TADDINGTON, DERBYSHIRE 
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DIVISION V. 



WORCESTERSHIRE, WARWICKSHIRE 



V.- -WORCESTERSHIRE AND 
WARWICKSHIRE 

SLOW journey of many stops taken through Cheshire 
and Shropshire, across the top of Worcestershire and 
Warwickshire from west to east, and then southward 
towards the north of Gloucestershire, shows within a 
small area and with certain limitations the gradual 
changes which took place in the development of the 
ancient cottage. To the first stage belong those of 
wood and plaster, to the second those of timber and 
brick, to the third those of brick, and then finally those 
of stone. These changes, it need hardly be said, 
did not follow nor necessarily grow out of each other, 
like all consistent and respectable traditions have a way of doing, but 
jumped forward and backward in each county in the most wayward and 
irresponsible fashion ; and in this respect the cottages of Warwickshire and 
Worcestershire were no exception. The majority of them are of brick and 
timber, with many later examples of brick that retain the same proportions 
and some of the peculiarities of the earlier buildings. In no detail is this so 
apparent as in the dormer and the unbroken frieze between the top of the 
ground-floor windows and the underside of the eaves. The frieze runs 





BROADWAY, WORCESTERSHIRE 



from end to end of one or a number of cottages, and is as characteristic as 
the dormer, and the frequent raising of the ground-floor three and four 
steps above the road. In the cottages at Chaddesley Corbett, in Worces- 
tershire (below), the effect of this deep frieze is partly lost owing to the 
vertical and sloping half-timber work, but directly the brick and timber is 
translated into brick the frieze effect becomes emphasised, as at Ludington, 
in Warwickshire (page 131). These are practically the cottages in the 
foreground at Knowle (page 136) turned into brick with the same propor- 
tions, only the roof and dormers are covered with thatch instead of tiles. 
At Solihull there are a number of them which follow still more closely 
the characteristics of the half-timber cottage, these having actually the 
same number of steps up to the front doors. 

Where they differ is in the glazing of the windows and the frame, 
which is set back an inch, instead of being flush, as in the early cottage ; 
and in the use of brick walls instead of timber framing and brick panels. 
The dormer not only persists in the brick, but in the stone district 
as well, both in the older stone -mullioned type and the Georgian 
examples, as for instance at Broadway, in Worcestershire (page 119), and 
many of those at Mickleton, in Gloucestershire. This resemblance is 
perhaps all the more remarkable as both the materials and the methods of 
construction are dissimilar. In the south-eastern counties and those ot 
Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire, where the methods are much 
the same, there are only a few examples of dormers which in any way 
resemble them. Most of these are gabled, a few hipped, and others are 




CHADDESLEY CORBETT, WORCESTERSHIRE 



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covered by part of the main roof, which is carried over the window at a 
flatter pitch, as at Shottery (page 139) and Pershore (opposite). 
Although these are some of the chief points which distinguish these cottages 
from those of other counties where the same materials were used, there is 
altogether a less careful consideration of external detail and a greater tendency 
to repeat in one village what has been done in another. The chimneys, for 
instance, are nearly all finished with one or two projecting courses and one 
above set flush with the brickwork below. Occasionally the stacks are placed 
angle-wise on the plan, as in the cottages at Chaddesley Corbett (page 1 18), 
in Worcestershire, and at Hampton Lucy, in Warwickshire (page 138) ; but 
these are exceptions, for generally there is neither the same fancy, skill, nor 
careful consideration of those little points of detail which add to the charm 
of the cottages in Kent. The middle cottage at Shottery, in Warwickshire 
(page 139), shows an attempt to do without a gutter next to the chimney 
by continuing the roof above the ridge till it meets the stack ; but this is 
obviously an afterthought, and not a very happy one ; and then again, with 
one or two exceptions, such as the example at Charlecote, in Warwick- 
shire (page 135), 
no attempt is made 
to connect the chim- 
ney flanking the side 
walls with the main 
roof, a detail that is 
solved satisfactorily 
over and over again 
in Surrey. The 
projecting stepped 
brickwork, occasion- 
ally used for the drip 
of the chimney, 
above the tile roof, 
is similar to that 
already noted at 
Alderley Edge, in 
Cheshire (page 65); 
but in this district 
it is more often 
made to fulfil the 
purpose of a verge 
in the later cottages. 
When used in this 
position the , little 
triangular spaces left 
on the upper edge 
are filled in with 
mortar, the roofing 
tiles being laid direct 
upon it. This same 
120 




BROADWAY, WORCESTERSHIRE 



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ver the window at a 
pposite). 

are anguish these cottages 

U were used, there is 

altogether a less careft; ; rail and a greater tendency 

to repeat in one village what rhcr. The chimneys, for 

instance, are nearly all finished with one projecting courses and one 

above set flush with rhr brickwork below. Occasionally the stacks are placed 
angl- in the cottag< .uldesley Corbett (page 1 1 8), 

v,in Warwickshi , but 

neither the same t nor 

points of detail which add 

^e at Shottery,in Warwi 
it a gutter next to the chimney 
: till it meets the stack ; but this is 
;y happy one ; and then again, with 
\ample at Charlecote, in Warwick- 
no made 
to connect the chim- 
ney flanking the side 
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Stages. 

ised in this 

'on the .little 

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BROADWAY, WORCESTERSHIRE 

121 



method of using brick has been noticed in the finish of a brick 
label. An unusual use of brick, perhaps too ingenious to be ancient, 
was noticed at Bromsgrove, near Birmingham. The bricks are laid 
with the width as face work, one course of stretchers alternating 
with another of one stretcher, and two headers, one on each side and 
placed on end ; by this wonderful arrangement the headers are left 
projecting beyond the face of the shaft in every other course. The pigeon- 
holes which have been noticed in the cottages and farmhouses of the 
Cotswold are carried out here in brick on similar lines, a course of headers 
taking the place of the stone bands, and the openings cut in the four 
courses of brick between those that project. The base for the framing is set 
up on stone (page i 34) or brick. Mill Street, Warwick (page 1 29), has both. 
The wood sill of the half timbers, which in Cheshire is almost invariably 
set back from the masonry, is flush with the base, and the uprights recessed 
instead. These uprights, in the dwellings halfway up the street, average 
7 ins., the spaces between 10 ins., and are filled in with brick. The brick- 
work throughout 
these counties is 
usually laid Flemish 
bond, four courses 
to 1 1 ins., and with 
wide joints. At 
Hampton Lucy, in 
Warwickshire (page 
138), there is an 
exceptional brick 
cottage covered 
with thatch, the 
others in the village 
being half timber 
and brick, and brick 
with the usual 
characteristics of 
frieze and dormer. 
Custom, tradition, 
and especially mate- 
rial, rooted to the 
soil the various types 
of cottage building, 
but in the metal 
work of the villages 
there are charac- 
teristics more obvi- 
ously common to 
all. For instance, 
a Worcestershire 
o r Warwickshire 
fire - dog was not 

122 




CASEMENT FITTINGS 



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necessarily so different from a Gloucestershire example, for the material 
and the purpose would be the same, while in the cottages of the 
same districts neither the methods of construction nor the materials 
were alike. Much more depended upon individual fancy and workman- 
ship. Windows in the stone counties repeat time after time, but the window 
fasteners are seldom the same. The great charm about this work lies in 
its unconscious regard for essentials ; for instance, there is not much that 
can be said for the pot cranes beyond the fact that they supplied a need 
in the most economical and straightforward way. All that was required 
was an upright, an arm and its support, and that was what the smith gave 
his customer, adding a little incidental decoration by the way. In one 
instance the end is turned and finished with a scroll, in another the 
support for the arm is considered, while in a third the end of the arm is 
beaten into a leaf. None of this is very great art, perhaps, but sufficient to 
raise it from the commonplace; just that labour and cunning which separate 
the good from the cheap. The notion that good work, good proportions and 
intelligent arrangement of parts are as cheap as badly executed or badly 
planned work, is the result 
of ignorance. This old 
metal work, no less than 
the cottages in which it is 
found, is the outcome of 
long service and association 
with materials, of innumer- 
able failures and successes, 
and of a constant if varying 
desire to produce what is 
good and beautiful. It is 
never cheap nor hurried, 
but has the stamp of 
leisurely production. That 
the makers were proud of 
their work is often reflected 
in it ; names occasionally 
occur ' on the pieces, and 
the finish and execution 
leave little to be desired. 
Ironwork was occasionally 
introduced as a support 
for the pents. Brackets 
of scroll work occur at 
Belbroughton, in Worces- 
tershire, and less elaborate 
ones can be seen at Welford- 
on-Avon, in Gloucester- 
shire (page 162) ; garden 
gates were also carried out 
in-wrought iron. There is 
124 




YARDLEY WOOD, WORCESTERSHIRE 




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a simple and effective treatment at Binton, in Warwickshire (page 167), 
and although one questions the wisdom of stopping the uprights below the 
top bar, the effect is light and appropriate. Another more satisfactory and 
elaborate piece of work is the window balcony at Henley-in-Arden, in 
Warwickshire (page 167), unfortunately mutilated, but with sufficient remain- 
ing to give an idea of what it was like in its complete condition. The 
scroll work is welded to the uprights at three points in the height, and 
the middle piece above the bar leans forward, supported by a stay from the 
upright. The cast and wrought-iron knockers, the lock plates, latches 
and handles, are all of interesting detail, and range from the severe circular 
cast brass knocker to the florid wrought example. 

Other interesting pierced and cut work is noticeable among the lock 
plates (page 166), and the footman in bright iron at Welford-on-Avon, in 
Gloucestershire, is a splendid example of wrought, hammered and pierced 
work of interlacing pattern and of simple construction (page 161). Of this 
simplicity the village smith may have been in ignorance, for it is probable 
that if he could have engraved on the pieces, cast portions of them, or had 
thoughts of combining 
these methods to make 
them more elaborate, he 
would have done so to the 
best of his ability and as 
far as his knowledgecarried 
him, like he did in the rest 
of his work. That was 
his simplicity, and quite 
a different thing to the 
affectation of it that is so 
detestable in much modern 
work. The latches, handles 
and casement fasteners 
(pages 5 8 and 159), are of 
the kind that we should 
expect to find in a cot- 
tage ; but many of the 
others are remarkable for 
their exceptional refine- 
ment. The scroll-work, for 
example, on one of the 
fasteners illustrated on 
page 122 is of dainty and 
delicate workmanship, and 
would be as much in har- 
mony with the interior of 
a mansion as of a cottage. 
The same characteristic is 
noticeable in the footman 
(page 161), the metal work 
126 




ATCH LENCH, WORCESTERSHIRE 





CLEEVE PRIOR, WORCESTERSHIRE 

I2 7 



at Weston-Patrick (page 43), to which we have already referred, the soft 
modelling of the cast-iron fire-dogs and firebacks in Sussex (page 163), and 
the examples at Chiddingfold, in Surrey, and Sandhurst Green, in Kent 
(page 161). The half timber might be casual and the brickwork poor, 
but the metal work here, as elsewhere, was generally up to a high standard 
of workmanship and in advance of the other trades, with the exception, 
perhaps, of the Cotswold district, which seems to have developed more or 
less on the same level. The other trades might be wanting, but the smith 
could always be relied on to supply fine and interesting work. 
Between the forged gates next to the roadway and the cast brass 
knocker on the cottage door was the garden, " the betweenity," 
as the late J. D. Sedding called it a link to connect the dwelling 
with its natural surroundings, a small space, but arranged as care- 
fully by the order-loving owner as the " formal garden " of the large 
manor-house ; for whatever may be the merits of the landscape system, 
there can be no question that 
the charm of the old cottage 
garden lies in its order, neat- 
ness, and making the most of 
the small area. There was 
no room either for pergolas, 
bridges, sun-dials, summer- 
houses and broad terraces. 
These were for the squire at 
the manor-house ; but in the 
design of the approach, the 
fencing, the walls, the gates, 
the planning of the old- 
fashioned flower-beds, the cut- 
ting of the occasional clipped 
trees and hedges, and the arch 
over the entrance, the cottager 
found ample scope for his 
fancy. If the cottages were 
close on the road, without 
front gardens, some natural 
beauty near at hand was 
shaped and fashioned, brought 
to order, and made part of the 
village. It might be a clump 
of trees, a pond, as at Upton 
Grey, Hampshire (page 40), 
or the village green with the 
road on each side. Here 
might be the village cross or 
the village pump ; round the 
trees, seats, and the pond em- 
phasized with posts and guard 
128 




WARWICK 




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129 



rails. One of the characteristics of the old cottage garden is the division 
which cuts it off from the roadway and its neighbours. It cannot be said that 
every district had its own type of garden, but many of the details have their 
local peculiarities. The cottage at Hill Wootton, in Warwickshire (pages 
132 and 133), shows a type of division common enough in a great many 
parts of the county. The palings are nailed to two rails, one at the top and 
one at the bottom, these being generally housed or tenoned into the posts, 
placed at regular intervals from 9 ft. to 10 ft. apart. The tops of the 
uprights are either square or shaped. A more interesting example is the 
fence common in Kent and Surrey. The posts are about the same distance 
apart, and of sufficient depth from front to back to take the rails and 
boarding, and to allow for a projection on the outer face. The rails, three 
in number and of triangular section, are placed one just below the top of 
the fence, another about 9 ins. below, and the third kept well above the 
ground. They are tenoned and pinned into the posts, and the boards are 
wedge-shaped, each set a little behind the other ; they are then nailed to 
the rails, the nails taking a zigzag pattern. The boards vary from 2^ 
to 4 ins. wide. At 
Blythburgh, in Suf- 
folk, the same fencing 
has been used, with 
the boarding reversed 
at every post. There 
are other varieties of 
the fence, but this is 
the method generally 
adopted. Wattled 
fencing is found occa- 
sionally in Gloucester- 
shire, and a thatched 
example was noticed 
at Filby Broad, in 
Norfolk. Dry stone 
walls are usual in the 
Cotswold, and in 
Devon slaty stone 
walls, whitewashed, 
are general. The 
garden walls in Nor- 
folk and Suffolk are 
often flint, with brick 
copings and bases, 
and brick dressings 
next to the gateways. 
Another form of gar- 
den fence is similar 
to the partial filling 
in of the porch at 
130 




HAMPTON-IN-ARDEN, WARWICKSHIRE 




LUDINGTON, WARWICKSHIRE 

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LEEK WOOTTON, WARWICKSHIRE 




SOLIHULL, WARWICKSHIRE 

Some of the yew trees at the 
entrances to the gardens, or that 
form avenues, like those at Cleeve 
Prior, Worcestershire (page 127), 
are cut into all manner of won- 
derful and fascinating shapes. At 
Cleeve Prior are to be seen, hand 
in hand, " the glorious company 
of Apostles," and the Evangelists, 
memoralised in the form of six- 
teen yews. Those at Broadway, 
Worcestershire (page 120), are 
of the simpler variety ; more 
elaborate examples are found at 
Yardley Wood (page 124), where 
the lower part of the trees is 
arched over the entrance and the 
tops shaped like cones. The 
" pleaching," or cutting and trim- 
ming of the trees at Lapworth, 
Warwickshire (page 140), is re- 
markably fine. At Soli hull, 
Warwickshire (above), there is a 
single yew tree, the lower part 
cut away on one side to form an 
arbour, and on the top is perched 
a bird. Another example at 
Risley Hall, Derbyshire, is in the 
form of two doves ; and there are 
other interesting trees at Ripple, 



Atch Lench in Wor- 
cestershire (page 126) : 
an example occurs also 
at Milton Bryant, in 
Bedfordshire (page 168). 
At Cranbrook, in Kent 
(page 14), the fence is 
of four rails between 
pairs of posts set some 
distance apart and filled 
in with cross-pieces that 
leave openings of dia- 
mond shapes. In addi- 
tion to these are the 
clipped hedges of haw- 
thorn and holly. 




CHARLECOTE, WARWICKSHIRE 

'35 



Worcestershire (page 123). It is these flights of fancy and imagination, 
in the hedges and trees of the gardens they adorned, that formed the link 
between the dwelling and the world of nature ; for while there is underlying 
all the same natural love of order and beauty that we find in the cottage, it 
is more freely expressed, and less hampered by the restrictions of the builder 
and craftsman. One of the most charming and engaging descriptions of the 
old garden was written by William Lawson early in the seventeenth century. 
He says, " What can your eye desire to see, your eare to heare, your mouth 
to taste, or your nose to smell that is not to be had in an orchard with 
abundance and beauty ? What more delightsome than an infinite varietie 
of sweet smelling flowers ? decking with sundrye colours the greene mantel 
of the earth, the universal mother of us all, so by them bespotted, so dyed, 
that all the world cannot sample them, and wherein it is more fit to admire the 
Dyer than imitate his workmanship, colouring not only the earth but decking 
the ayre, and sweetening every breath and spirit. The rose red, damaske, 
velvet, and double double province rose, the sweet muske rose double 
and single, the double and single white rose, the faire and sweet scenting 
woodbind double and single ; Purple cowslips and double cowslips, primrose 
double and single, the violet nothing behind the best for smelling sweetly, 
and a thousand more will provoke your contente, and all these by the skill of 
your Gardener so comely and orderly placed in your Borders and squares." 

1 Quoted from " The Formal Garden in England," by Reginald Blomfield and F. Inigo Thomas. 




*-i/ 



KNOWLE, WARWICKSHIRE 
136 




ALVESTON, WARWICKSHIRE 




HAMPTON LUCY, WARWICKSHIRE 
I 3 8 



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SHOTTERY, WARWICKSHIRE 
139 










LAPWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE 
140 



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DIVISION VI. 



DEVONSHIRE, WEST SOMERSETSHIRE 



VI. DEVONSHIRE AND WEST 
SOMERSETSHIRE. 

EVONSHIRE is the most beautiful county in England, and 
shares with West Somersetshire the distinction of a cottage 
tradition more rural than that of any other. Homely, com- 
fortable, and hospitable-looking are the best terms to describe 
these cottages. Architecturally interesting they would hardly 
be called by the unsympathetic stranger, but to the thorough- 
going born-and-bred countryman of these counties, who never 
if he can help it takes five minutes to do a thing when 
ten will do equally well, these old places are the best 
and most beautiful in the world. As simple and homely 
as the " gert Jan Ridd," they are the work of men such as he, who 
thought, laboured, and lived in a leisurely fashion as only the true native 
could and does do to this very day. This cottage-building tradition seems 
to be as extinct as that creature the " dodo," although the villager still 
holds to the ancient ways of his forefathers of spending twice as long over 
a job as any other known workman and charging half as much. Here, 
at least, is the spirit of the old builders that gave much and asked little 
that gave us the buttressed, plastered, and whitewashed cob walls, the big 
square chimneys, and the somewhat casually-thatched roofs of the Devon- 
shire and Somersetshire cottages. There is not one built severely square, 
and but few have a complete gable or hip. They follow the contours of 





DAWLISH, DEVONSHIRE 
H3 




DAWLISH, DEVONSHIRE 
144 




CORNWALL. FROM A WATCR-. 

-> STANHOPE FORBES, A 




(Copyright Reserved.) 



LANDEWEDNACK, CORNWALL. FROM A WATER-COLOUR 
DRAWING BY MRS. E. STANHOPE FORBES, A.R.W.S. 










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the ground haphazard picturesque and rambling, like the talk of a native, 
they are as pleasant to look at as the other is to listen to. The walls never 
seem upright, the windows appear to be placed anywhere, and the thatch 
does not cover the roof so carefully and neatly as it might do. Casual and 
careless, with many faults, and no finish, might fairly be the description 
given to them by a foreigner. Every part seems wanting, but the whole has 
that indefinable charm that probably springs from their relationship to the 
surroundings. Of these cottages it can truly be said that they are growths 
of the soil, trimmed and clipped somewhat by man, but never enough that 
they can be described as " works of art." There is a little design perhaps, 
some putting together of mud material, some thatch, and that is the 
cottage ; but the rest somehow escapes us, for one finds the trees, the 
hedgerows, the orchards, the sun, the rain, and the rocks have a real and 
intimate part in the result, as will be seen in the illustrations on 
pages 147 and 150, and opposite page 141. 

In some villages the cob walls have been built direct on the rock, 
after the side has been roughly hewn to a vertical or slightly battering 
face, and the top made level for the 
cob. When of a rocky character this 
natural foundation seems to have taken 
the place of the usual base of stone or 
brick. Upon it was built the cob 
wall in layers of about 18 ins. of mud, 
gravel, or small gritty stone, trodden 
down by the feet, and battered with 
a wooden beater. A wisp of straw 
was carried by the workman under 
his arm, who, as needed, strewed it 
beneath his feet. After the wall was 
up the surface was chopped down, 
faced with plaster, and then white- 
washed. The base was generally 
tarred, as in the cottages at Dawlish, 
in Devonshire (page 143), and at 
Minehead and Dulverton, in Somer- 
setshire (pages 149 and 153). In the 
fence or boundaries the walls were 
sometimes left without plaster. 
In parts of Somerset the cottages are 
built of a pinky stone of roughly 
coursed masonry, and at Crowcombe 
some of the boundary walls are of 
random rubble, the cavities and joints 
of which are plastered with mortar, 
and a jointer or similar tool drawn 
across the face of it. When the walls 
are built of stone they are generally 
about 1 8 ins. thick, with the external NORTON FITZWARREN, SOMERSET 

146 





SELWORTHY, SOMERSETSHIRE 
'47 



and internal coats of plaster in addition. Cob walls are 2 ft. thick, more 
or less. In the case of a big door or gateway being introduced, 
the angles are protected with masonry tailing into the cob work, and for 
the same reason the corners of dwellings and of windows are rounded 
in many instances. The windows are small and set back from the face 
of the wall, the angles rounded or occasionally, as at Crowcombe, the 
plaster is finished with a smooth face for the width of 4 or 5 ins. round 
the openings, which, without exactly being an architrave, gives the 
suggestion of one. 

The buttresses, generally of stone, introduced to strengthen the walls, are 
a characteristic feature and frequently of enormous size, the projection at 
the base measuring as much as 2 ft. 6 ins., the width 3 ft., and diminishing 
from the bottom to the top in one long slope (page 143). They are generally 
placed either at the ends or at certain points along the front, and frequently 
in a line with the chimney stack, rising from the ridge. Most of them 
are built of slatey stone whitewashed and without any coat of plaster. When 
the angles of the cottage are not strengthened by these buttresses they are 
rounded, and where the 
walls are of the common 
slatey stone and finished 
with plaster, the corners 
are still rounded, proba- 
bly copied from the cob 
walling. The chimneys 
are of the same stone 
and carried well up above 
the eaves, and then com- 
pleted with a projecting 
course of slate (page 153), 
and in some cases with 
about 9 ins. of similar 
rough masonry inclining 
inwards like the slope of 
a buttress. Others are 
taken up in stone suffici- 
ently high to clear the 
eaves of the roof, with 
the upper part in brick, 
as, for example, at Mine- 
head in Somersetshire 

(pages 149 and i 50), and 

at Thurlestone in South 

Devon (page 145). The 

village of Braunton, in 

North Devon, has a 

number of these sturdy 

chimney stacks with 

brick tops, that look MINEHEAD, SOMERSETSHIRE 





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'49 




MINEHEAD, SOMERSETSHIRE 



like later additions, the height of the brickwork in many cases not being 
more than 18 ins. to 2 ft. The chimneys that flank the fronts of the 
dwellings almost invariably project considerably into the roadway or 
garden, and the slopes, which diminish its bulk towards the top, are either 
covered with slates or pantiles, as in the cottage at Minehead (page 150), 
and also in the one at Dawlish (page 144). The diversity in the number and 
direction of these slopes is remarkable, and gives considerable character to 
this striking feature of the cottage. Another variety of chimney top to that 
which has already been described is also depicted in the cottage illustrated 
on page 150. Four small brick piers are placed parallel to the faces of 
the masonry, or in some cases angle-wise ; these support a thin stone 
slab, leaving an opening on each side. A drip of slate is built into the 
walls following the line of the roof in a series of steps where the chimney 
appears through the thatch. 

The boundary walls of stone are sometimes coped with slate and sloped inward 
from each side of the wall. The dry walls, more often used for ditching 
than the fences between gardens, are laid in courses of the usual slatey 
material, one course sloped in 
one direction, and the next in 
the reverse. In looking along 
these courses of stone the effect 
is one of light and shade, grey 
and bluish-grey bands that rise 
and fall at every change in the 
level of the ground. 
Thatching was the common 
method of roofing in the coun- 
ties of Devonshire and Somer- 
setshire, but like the building 
of cob walls, it has gradually 
fallen into disrepute except for 
a little patching and the occa- 
sional covering of an old dwel- 
ling. This is partly the result 
of enforcing unsuitable bye- 
laws upon the rural districts, 
and the extra expense entailed 
in keeping it in good order 
and repair. The short-sighted 
desire for cheap labourers' cot- 
tages, and the additional trouble 
of looking after this form of 
roof are also amongst some of 
the other reasons for its almost 
complete disuse in this country. 
In Kent and Sussex, and two 
or three other districts, there 
has lately been some attempt to SELWORTHV, SOMERSETSHIRE 

'5 1 







carry on the traditions of the beautiful craft of thatching, but the tendency 
of local authorities is to discourage its use. The number of thatched cot- 
tages of considerable age which have survived the risks of fire, would probably 
astonish these unenlightened authorities. Not only is it in Devonshire 
and Somersetshire that the use of thatch has been so general, but there are 
beautiful examples to be found in nearly every district throughout England, 
indeed it would be difficult to improve upon some in Sussex, Gloucester- 
shire and Oxfordshire (opp. pages 83, 98 and 102). A particularly fine 
example was noticed just outside Mayfield. The hazel rods, used for the 
purpose of keeping the thatch in place, were laid over the ridge, 
the hips and the eaves crossing and recrossing one another, and 
caught under the loops of the pegging pieces at the intersections. In 
Suffolk and Norfolk, Berkshire and Hampshire, and in all the wood and 
timber counties, numbers of thatches are to be seen ; and in the stone district 
the thatching is neat and worked round the windows and dormers in the 
most delightful manner. In Somersetshire very few hazel rods are used 
at the ridge and the eaves, while in Devonshire the thatcher did not 
appear to trouble much how his thatching was finished. It is neither so 
carefully nor so completely executed as in other counties. A peculiarity of 
the method in Somersetshire was to bring the thatch to a point at the 
end of the ridge above the line of hazel rods, that are laid along the 
thatch just beneath the cresting. 

At the village of Williton, in Somersetshire (page 155), there are some fine 
examples of hipped thatched dormers, with the cocked-out ridge, and a 
suggestion of the double cresting along the main roof, so characteristic of the 
barns in Norfolk and Suffolk. Ridges have been noticed in Devonshire 



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CROWCOMBE, SOMERSETSHIRE 
152 






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finished with single hazel rods bent to the form of a triangle, the points 
of the bases touching a feature that has been copied by the brickmakers 
in the district as a pattern for their tile ridging. In the one case it 
looks rather well, in the other hideous. 

The old name for a thatcher was " helyer," and long after slating had to 
some extent taken the place of thatch, the slater was known by that name, 
the slates being called " belying stones." In North Devon small grey slates 
of a pleasant colour were frequently used on the projecting portions that 
stopped at the first-floor level. Walled-in and open porches, small bays and 
ovens, and similar parts were nearly always roofed in this way when the 
rest of the covering was of thatch. Some of the roofs in the small 
towns have similar slate roofs ; and at the seaside village of Morthoe the 
sides of the chimneys of a farmhouse were hung with them, diamond shapes 
being introduced into the plain slate hanging. Examples of the small roofs 
occur at Braunton, Dawlish and Thurlestone (pages 143, 144 and 145). 
In many of the villages the narrow side-walks and the garden paths 
are laid with small pebbles at right angles to the curb, in some simple 
pattern that suggests strips, 
obtained by alternating rows 
of thin pebbles with thick 
ones, and occasionally rising 
to the dignity of a diamond- 
shape in a different coloured 
pebble. 

If we would have again the 
varied details and homely 
beauty of the old cottage 
in Devonshire and else- 
where, there must grow up 
a living tradition, based on 
a knowledge of the original 
work, to replace our ideal 
of " cheapness." To make 
the cheap production of 
things the criterion by which 
they are to be judged means 
poor work, inefficient crafts- 
men, and the ultimate degra- 
dation of our surroundings. 
We must revive the old- 
fashioned belief in perfection 
of workmanship, use, and 
beauty. Then, and only 
then, will play the fountains 
of invention and beauty 
in every village and hamlet 
up and down the country- 
side. 




COMBE FLOREY, SOMERSETSHIRE 



154 



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NORTON FITZWARREN, SOMERSETSHIRE 

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CONCLUSION. 



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CONCLUSION. 

VERY visitor to an English village appreciates the pic- 
turesqueness of the old cottage, and everyone can enjoy 
what has been so well called " the artless inadvertences, 
the casual patchwork of the old walls, the overlapping 
of successive developments, the unsophisticated craft of 
it," and all those incidental beauties that have grown 
since the day of completion, when Time began to colour 
the walls and roofs in his own fashion ; and successive 
generations patched and repatched, and added a portion 

here and a portion there to the original structure. As a rule the 

admiration goes no further, and the visitor leaves the scene with a more or 

less confused notion of gables, dormers, roofs and chimneys, covered with 

vegetation, that he remembers vaguely long after and sufficiently well to 

describe as " picturesque." As far as it goes this may do well enough, but 

unfortunately out of this nebulous impression there has grown the idea that 

the old country cottage is a haphazard arrangement of one or two rooms 

pitchforked together anyhow, and developed in a happy-go-lucky fashion 

into the picturesque object, the old English cottage. In only a modified 

sense is this true, for however much the cottage was added to, altered or 

patched, the simple oblong plan and elevation of four walls remained 

the backbone of its 

beauty. It might 

be lengthened, and 

the width increased 

by one or even two 

aisles ; bays and 

porches, too, might 

be added, but the 

central form, definite 

and unmistakable, 

always dominated. 

Directly this was 

lost sight of and 

the original purpose 

ignored or forgotten, 

the additions and 

" picturesqueness " 

became meaningless. 

In all the finest 

examples, whether 

many gabled as those 

in the Cotswold, or 

roofed like those in 

Kent, the persistence 

of the main lines of IRON DOOR LATCHES AND HANDLES 

159 




the plan in the expression of the exterior controls and gives significance 
to all the rest. 

With so many materials and such a variety of methods in use, one 
is apt to over-estimate the " picturesque " and to under-value the less 
obvious but more important qualities of order and balance. And yet 
there can be no question that the latter were always at the back of the 
builder's mind. Behind individuality, local peculiarities, the unusual and 
spontaneous, these were unceasingly at work. Out of this sprang their 
originality and freshness. New ways were but the improving, ordering, 
and more effective arrangement of the old. Variety with them meant steps 
towards the final and perfect arrangement, and change for its own sake was 

an " originality " of 
which they were 
probably never 
guilty. The addi- 
tional course of 
bricks in the Kent 
chimney, the modi- 
fication of a stone 
mullion in the Cots- 
wold windows, or 
the invention of a 
new frill for the 
edging of a thatch 
roof in a Norfolk 
village, were changes 
made for improve- 
ment's sake. The 
feverish anxiety to 
be new and different 
never entered the 
slow and leisurely 
minds of the villa- 
gers ; and so slow 
were they to change 
that they clung to 
old methods when 
new ones with ad- 
vantage could have 
been adopted ; but 
transitions from one 
material to another 
often came too 
quickly for the 
builder to accom- 
modate himself at 
once to the pecu- 
DETAILS OF STONEWORK liarities of a new 

1 60 




stone 




FIREPLACE ACCESSORIES 



161 



material. Some of these changes have 
been noticed already in preceding chap- 
ters : Sussex, for instance, where the 
old ways of working a material were still 
retained when the material itself was 
different. Warwickshire and Glouces- 
tershire showed a similar although not 
so marked a change, as certain features 
were as suitable for the stone slates of 
Gloucestershire as for tiles, such as the 
gable dormers and steep roofs of the 
Warwickshire cottage. 
Another change occurs in passing from 
the east to the west of Norfolk. Instead 
of the brick and flint, the materials com- 
monly used on the east coast, stone with 
galleted joints became of frequent occur- 
rence. This galleting is unlike that in 
Kent, Surrey or Sussex. The joints of 





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DOORHEADS 
l62 



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DOORHEADS 



the masonry are as wide as in 
Kent, but the small stones are 
placed on the flat and a little 
distance apart. 

It is to be observed that 
while the characteristic uses 
of a local material enable us 
to discriminate between one 
neighbourhood and another, 
it would be a mistake, as we 
have seen throughout the 
foregoing pages, to assume 
an entirely consistent develop- 
ment of cottage architecture 
in one district. A village 




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may have some peculiarly local detail, as 
for example at Stanway, where the thatched 
roofs are finished at the ridge by a twisting 
of the thatch into a rope pattern ; or the 
exceptional walling that has been noticed at 
Middleton ; or again the elaborate fixing of 
the thatch roof on a cottage near Wellington, 
in Shropshire. Even the brick barns vary in 
the honeycombing of the walls for ventila- 
tion. In Worcestershire the perforations 
are in long parallel lines ; in Cheshire and 
Shropshire they are arranged in the form of 
diamonds and half diamonds, with the points 
towards each other, while in Norfolk they 
are in alternate courses of one and two 
openings. Another particularly local varia- 
tion has been noted in the wood and timber 
district, where the panels between the wood 





ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS 



164 



WATCHET, SOMERSETSHIRE 

framing, instead of being finished, 
as usual, with a coat of plaster richly 
matted with hair, have been filled 
in with a mixture of crushed alabas- 
ter and lime, finished to an almost 
smooth face, the alabaster coming 
from the quarries near by. This use 
of an unusual material or method, 
or the alteration of a traditional 
form, did not mean that the builders 
dropped the old way for the new ; 
the introduction of hipped roofs, 
for instance, was not the beginning 
of the end for the gable. Indeed, 
nothing is more remarkable than 



its persistence from the earliest to the latest 
examples of the old cottage. With the excep- 
tion of the county of Kent the gable pre- 
dominates everywhere, the half-gable and half- 
hipped and the wholly-hipped roof being rare 
in comparison with the other form. The 
steep pitch of many of the pantile roofs in 
Norfolk and Suffolk is probably the continuance 
of the same form when thatch was the com- 
mon roofing material ; the same steep pitch 
is noticeable in the Cotswolds and in the Mid- 
lands. One might say of these cottages that 
changes were so slow that they always appeared 
the same to the villager ; decade followed 
decade with few alterations, and outside influ- 
ences only touched remotely the newly-built 
cottages that were added along the sides of the 
street. And the past was always with them ; 
never a new building that had not something 







DETAILS OF EXTERIOR DECORATION 



DETAILS OF STONEWORK 

of the old, never a detail 
that was not related to one 
already in the cottage next 
door ; and every Sunday, as 
the villager went down or up 
the road to the church, he 
saw very much what he had 
always seen. In the back- 
ground of the village stood 
the church, the pivot upon 
which the whole village life 
revolved. The inn was on 
one side of the church, and 
on the other abutted the 
cottages of the village, tailing 

165 



away down the street. The church and the cottages grouped round 
about it are frequently the most beautiful part of the village. They 
form, too, the last bulwark against the cheap and pernicious influence of 
modern town life and its uninteresting methods of building. The further 
away from the church and the nearer to the outskirts of the village 
the more obvious becomes the encroachment of the cheap cottage, 
with its tin enamelled bath and conveniences, well ventilated and 
drained ; and the gardens, with their little rockeries, bounded by the 
ugly cast-iron railing, and the pathway of hard stable-brick to the entrance- 
door. This is the popular idea of the country cottage to-day. The 
type is almost universal, and its cost, if not its characteristics, is the 
standard for all others. The " hundred-and-fifty-pounds " cottage is only 
the " ideal " in another garb. Cheapness, not good building, is its first 
aim something pretty at the price, and cheaper if possible. 
It is strange and wonderful that an intelligent person should imagine that 
good work and good building can be obtained without an increased expendi- 
ture of time and thought, and that, with such an idea, the new could be 
possibly as good as 
the old. Money 
spent in competi- 
tions to achieve 
the impossible, 
would be far better 
laid out in the en- 
couragement of 
village industries, 
and in picking 
up again the local 
and traditional 
methods of work. 
Or it might be 
used for the edu- 
cation of local 
authorities in mat- 
ters which affect 
the village crafts. 
They require it ; 
for of what use 
can it be for edu- 
cational bodies 
like the Art 
Workers' Guilds, 
the Arts and 
Crafts Schools in 
town or village to 
increase the num- 
ber of workers 
really interested 
166 




CAST AND WROUGHT IRON DOOR 
KNOCKERS AND LOCK PLATES 



in what they attempt to do, if local bodies discourage the use of traditional 
methods and material. This is one of the most pressing problems of beautiful 
building, both in the towns and in the agricultural districts. On the one 
hand there is the gradual increase of interest in the Arts and Crafts Schools, 
turning out from year to year a number of able craftsmen ; while on the 
other hand there is the discouragement by local authorities of some of the 
very trades being taught in the schools. The establishment of more craft 
schools in the villages, locally controlled, is probably one of the steps towards 
the revival of country crafts along the old lines, providing there grows up 
at the same time a more intelligent recognition by the public of the beauty 
of good work in preference to that which is poor and cheap, and of which 
we seem to be getting, perhaps, a little ashamed. 

That the new cottage, with all its modern appliances, is a dismal failure, 
there can be no doubt. Quite apart from any sentimental or historical 
considerations, the old English cottage is altogether more admirable and 
pleasant to live in than the new. The walls, notwithstanding what has 
been said of their defects in construction, are generally more satisfactory 
than g-in. walls and rough-cast ; the materials are better and used 
generously. The plan, too, is superior, for it is based on an architectural 
idea " the bay " with transepts or aisles, whereas the new is merely an 
economical and convenient arrangement of rooms without relation to a 
central idea. 

G. LL. MORRIS. 




WROUGHT IRON WORK 



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THE .SOLIAN ORCHESTRELLK. MODEL F. 



TO EVERYONE 

HIS OWN ORCHESTRA. 



WITHOUT the resources of 
the modern orchestra the 
hearing of much of the 
grandest music ever written 
would have been absolutely denied 
to the world. Music, the most 
spiritual of the arts, so long crippled 
by imperfect mechanism, has now at- 
tained full power of instrumental ex- 
pression. This realisation of music, 
alike to the composer, the performer, 
and the auditor, is consummated in 
the /Eolian Orchestrelle. 



In appearance this instrument some- 
what resembles an upright piano ; but 
whereas the piano is a stringed instru- 
ment, the jEolian is of the organ 
principle. Its notes are produced from 
pipes, the simple sounds of which are 
softened and refined by qualifying 
tubes and special air-chambers. This 
treatment greatly increases the volume 
of sound. The tone of the Orches- 
trelle is unique. With its equipment 
of stops, faithfully producing the 
effects of flute and horn, of clarinet 



\l>. Mil 



and piccolo, of violin and 'cello, all 
the wood-winds, strings and brasses, 
it is more than an organ adapted to 
the requirements and limitations of a 
private house ; it is the evolution and 
perfection of a newmusical instrument. 
There is no music which the Or- 
chestrelle will not produce with a 
purity, delicacy, and range of tone 
possessed by no other instrument. It 
is a complete orchestra, embodying 




THE j-F.OLIAN ORCHESTRELLE. MODEL Y. 

all the resources of a full band of in- 
strumentalists. It can be played 
directly from the keyboard or by 
delicate mechanism actuated through 
the perforations of a music-roll, thus 
relieving the performer of the technical 
drudgery of playing the notes and, at 
the same time, requiring his control 
of expression and time through the 
stops. For the Orchestrelle is not an 
automatic instrument ; it undertakes 
the production of the notes as the 
fingers of a pianist are trained to pro- 



duce them mechanically. But the 
brain of the player is no less at work 
upon the music of the Orchestrelle 
than it is upon the fingers of the 
pianist. In each case it is the mind 
and emotion of the performer that 
give individuality, colour, and effect 
to the music. This may be thought 
impossible, and Madame Melba has 
confessed to the prejudice. She has 
also recanted, and written : " When I 
first heard of the JEolian Orchestrelle, 
I was unable to understand how a 
musical instrument requiring no tech- 
nical knowledge could be artistic from 
the musician's standpoint. I do not 
think it possible for anyone to under- 
stand it unless they do as I did see 
it and hear it played." 

The musical value of the ^Eolian 
Orchestrelle is immense incalculable. 
All music is its province, and perfect 
rendering its forte. It brings all the 
resources and entertainment of the 
concert-hall straight into the home. 
It offers the whole wealth of music 
to the lover of harmony. For in- 
stance, if Brahms be the favoured com- 
poser, there is no occasion to sit out 
four-fifths of a concert to attain the 
desired fifth. The JEolian renders 
all Brahms when, where, and as re- 
peatedly as desired. The ./Eolian does 
not dictate the nuances, tones, varia- 
tions of rhythm and execution ; it 
places these in the hands of the player, 
and he may either regulate the time, 
expression, and stops according to the 
markings shown on the roll, or he 
may vary them according to his own 
sense of music. The hand-player has 
drilled his fingers into such certainty 
and automatism of action that they 
undertake the executive work for 
him. The ^Eolian Orchestrelle under- 
takes the same work for anyone, so 
that, in the words of De Reszke, the 
famous tenor, " If the performer can 



AD. XIV 



grasp the inspiration of the composer, 
the instrument affords him every 
facility for interpreting the music 
with feeling." All that gives colour, 
expression, and individuality to the 
music is of the player's making. In 
other words, he has a technically- 
skilled orchestra entirely subordinate 
to his own will. Two renderings of 
any particular orchestral work would 
no more agree than if they were 
played manually, for the ./Eolian is 
not a mechanical instrument ; it is 
played with brains. 

Famous musicians throughout the 
world are united in their appreciation 
of the /Eolian Orchestrelle. Pianists 
like Paderewski, de Pachmann, Hof- 
mann ; singers like Melba, Calve, and 
the brothers De Reszke ; violinists 
like Ysaye and Sarasate ; composers 
like Puccini, Luigi Arditi, and Mas- 
senet ; teachers like Sir Alexander 
Mackenzie, Sir Hubert Parry, and 
Dr. Turpin these are musicians 
whose critical and artistic power no 
one can question, and they, with many 
others, hail the ./Eolian Orchestrelle 

The virtuoso appreciates the /Eolian 
Orchestrelle because he, above all, can 
recognise the wonder of its technique, 
its marvellous beauty of tone and 
unique combination of the power and 
tone-effects of all musical instruments. 
Moreover, he is aware of its inestim- 
able value in the musical education 
of the public and in the cultivation 
of a love of music. No other instru- 
ment places the whole of orchestral 
music within the productive capacity 
of everyone who has musical taste, 
whatever his lack of technique. 

Paderewski has written that the 
/Eolian Orchestrelle combines "all 
the effects which can be produced by 
the most skilful manipulation of a 
grand organ with those of an orchestra. 
The execution of even the most com- 



plicated passages leaves nothing to be 
desired ; and what adds to the instru- 
ment's value is the magnificent re- 
pertoire which, with great care and 
perfect taste, has been prepared for it. 
I consider this instrument not only a 
source of delight to music-lovers, but 
also a benefit to art itself, as by 
means of the /Eolian the masterpieces, 
through a thus easily obtained pro- 
duction, will greatly gain in apprecia- 
tion and popularity." 

To the student or amateur, with 
his imperfect technique, the ./Eolian 




THE .VOI. IAN ORCHESTRELLE. MODEL V. 

Orchestrelle, with its faultless render- 
ing of any score, subject to the control, 
in time, tone, and expression, of its 
player, affords an intimacy with the 
works, or any particular work, of any 
composer that no series of concerts or 
lectures would afford. The owner 
of an /Eolian, and no one i'/se, has 
always at his command the means of 
playing and hearing at any time, and 
as many times and in as many varia- 
tions ot time or expression as he likes, 
the for example Ninth Symphony 
of Beethoven. 



AD. XV 




THE JEOL1AN ORCHESTRELLE. MODEL O, 



The vEolian Orchestrelle is made 
in several models at a wide range 
of prices. More practical informa- 
tion, and a proper realisation of 
the ^Eolian's place in music, can be 
obtained in one visit to the ^Eolian 
Hall, at 135 New Bond Street, than 
can be gleaned from pages of printed 
matter. The Orchestrelle Company 
is always pleased to welcome any 
music-lover who wishes for a practical 
demonstration, and anyone who can- 
not make it convenient to call, is 
invited to write for descriptive 
Catalogue 20. 




THE JEOLIAN ORCHESTRELLK. RENAISSANCE MODEL. 




THE ORCHESTRELLE COMPANY, 

^OLIAN HALL, 135-6-7 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON, W. 



AD. XVI 




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