Friday, February 8, 2013
Walking around Wendover looking at house fronts and brickwork, I was soon struck by Vine Tree House, with its front of about 1700. In a mottled wall of varicoloured brickwork – predominantly diverse shades of red but with darker bricks dotted around in it – are sash windows and a simple door case with bracketed canopy above. The cut outline of the brackets give the door case just a hint of swagger, no more. Very English. Looking at the house at first from the front, it didn't take me long spot that all was not as it seemed. The off-centre door and the uneven spaces between some of the windows didn't seem quite right for a building of 1700 or soon after – and what was that roof poking out above the parapet?
When I got to the corner of the building, all was clear, as you can see. This is actually a much older timber-framed building, which has been refronted – something that quite often happened when timber framing went out of fashion, as I've noticed in this blog before. The end of the building comes from another world – all irregular, with a half hip to the roof and a variety of beams that are probably Elizabethan or maybe early-17th century. But the spaces between the timbers are filled with brick hogging, so thanks to these red bricks, the structure has some visual unity after all. Very English indeed.