Monday, May 10, 2010

Stanbridge, Dorset


Into the woods

Driving around Dorset in search of churches and follies, I half expected to come across this house, having read about it in Pevsner’s Buildings of England volume on Dorset. But it was still a surprise, since it seems to be nearer Stanbridge than Hinton Martell, the village in which Pevsner includes it and where I was expecting it. The little building has been surprising passers-by since about 1809, when it was built as a gate lodge for a nearby country house. The lodge is in the form of a cottage orné, the style of utterly cottagey cottage that became fashionable in the Regency period.

The dumpy thatched roof, with upper windows under ‘eyebrows’ of thatch, and the additional little thatched porches are typical features of the cottage orné style. So too are the pointed windows glazed with diamond panes. Since my copy of Pevsner (the 1972 edition) was produced, the house has been rethatched – the roof previously had eaves with repeated concave curves like the edges of an umbrella. The little points that fringe the roof today are nearly as picturesque. In its roadside setting surrounded by trees, it’s a place where a woodcutter in a folk tale might feel at home.

3 comments:

Peter Ashley said...

Ooh, very Hansel & Gretel, as you say. Or a place for little piggies to hide from the Big Bad Wolf. Or....(contnd. p94)

DC said...

or near Silverbridge (Barsetshire)or in Slipper-on-the Water or in Silverydew....

Magical

Anonymous said...

I used to walk past here every Sunday on my way to church