27 Sep 2010

Georgian Houses

So why did a cosmopolitan, sushi eating, shoe loving, chai latte drinking, ex-magazine Bookings Editor leave the ‘golden paved’ streets of London for a house in the rural English countryside – where the nearest shop is a 15 minute drive away? No, there’s no punch line, but it is a question that I am often asked!

The main reasons obviously revolve around family, space and quality of life. However, there was also the fact that ever since I can remember, I have been BESOTTED with the Georgian period of architecture.

Ever since I saw my first Jane Austen adaptation on the television, I vowed that one day I would own a house that would have suited Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy (okay – perhaps the poorer, younger brother of Mr. Darcy, since his house was a MAGNIFICENT as well as HUGE Georgian country pile).

Closer to what I had in mind, was perhaps the sort of house that the parish vicar would have lived in; genteel, understated and often deceptively modest in size despite a grand exterior.

The classical references, such as porticoes,the double hung sash windows and shallow roof, all add up to a child’s image of a house.

However, beautiful proportions on the outside, also means light, airy rooms with high ceilings on the inside.

So who could blame me for insisting that one of the main criteria in deciding whether or not to relocate to the English countryside, was that the house must have the simplistic, dolls house like symmetry that is such a particular trait of the small Georgian country house.

Heavily influenced by classical architecture – I think that there’s something undeniably romantic about them.

The heyday of Georgian building was between 1790 – 1800, but the style largely stretches from 1714 – 1837. My home, Hill House (below), dates from the late Georgian period, and was built as the Master Brewers house (attached to a nearby and now defunct brewery) in 1822.

I like to think that I’ve found my life size dolls house – what do you think?

The Diaries

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