Friday, November 28, 2014
Toujours la politesse
As I left Leominster Priory after looking at the ducking stool that formed the subject of my previous post, the sun came out, warming the mid-18th century red brick of this lovely house on the approach road to the church. I'd admired this house before, and its polite architecture, but I'd not seen it without cars or vans parked in front. The lack of these, and the sun, seemed to demand a photograph.
I'm often taken by the quiet impressiveness of Georgian house fronts like this. None of the heavy effects of the earlier period, none of the filigree decoration or bow windows of the later Regency. Just good honest brickwork and the usual adornments – quoins, keystones, a doorcase with its own curved pediment, a larger, triangular pediment (with nice oil de boeuf window) at the top. As is so often the case, the window frames were renewed, with large panes, in the 19th century, but at least these changes don't destroy the overall proportions.
I don’t know who built this house or originally lived in it – someone of substance, clearly, commissioned the town's best Georgian house. For part of the 20th century it was, I believe, divided into flats, and I read in one place that during World War II troops were billeted there. It is now a care home. Its polite architecture has clearly proved both adaptable and resilient.