Edwardian Houses

I have spent the weekend immersed in Timothy Brittain-Catlin’s new book The Edwardians and their Houses: The New Life of Old England, a form of architectural escapism as it was for them, full of large, well-built, spacious houses, as well as cottages, which have never made the history books either because they have been forgotten or deliberately written out. Not so much Lutyens, who has been much written about, more W.H. Romaine-Walker, who was responsible for Canford Manor in Dorset, now a school, Stanhope House next to the Dorchester, and part of the Tate, as well as providing illustrations for a new edition of Alice in Wonderland; W.D. Caröe, who designed a new tudor house for himself south of Godalming;  and Horace Field, co-author of English Domestic Architecture of the XVII and XVIII Centuries (1905).   I felt like J.M. Richards whilst reading it, suddenly nostalgic for the architecture of the suburbs – Queen Anne Revival and Stockbroker Tudor – which continued the language of Edwardian architecture into the 1950s. Of course, it was nostalgic, but it was also well designed, comfortable and beautifully built, much of it designed for progressive members of the liberal government, now turned into private schools and luxury hotels. As it happens, it also includes Chequers, a Tudor house much altered and remade just before the First World War by Reginald Blomfield, with gardens by the architectural writer and Oxford don, H. Avray Tipping, before being presented to the nation by Sir Arthur Lee for the use of Lloyd George from 1917 with a requirement that nothing ever be changed.


2 thoughts on “Edwardian Houses

  1. simonwartnaby says:

    The WDCaroe house, Vann, is a hall house of c 1540, and much extended by WD after taking a lease in 1907 as a weekend home. The house is surrounded by very magical gardens, including a water garden by Gertrude Jekyll, The gardens were much loved by the late Martin Caroe (architect, son of Alban and grandson of WD) and continued by his wife Mary, a doctor, who recently sadly died of Covid.There is wonderful recent short video about the gardens.

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