Friday, August 24, 2007

Edgar Street, Worcester

The 18th century produced some of England's most delightful small houses – buildings that are compact, light, and well proportioned. These Georgian houses in Worcester's Edgar Street, a stone’s throw from the cathedral precinct, are typical. They are arranged in a terrace, but it’s not a grand terrace in the style of Bath – here, each house was built individually, to specific requirements, resulting in lots of variety unified by sash windows, classical door cases, and delicious red brick.

This house stands out not just because it is taller and broader than its neighbours, but because of the large window on the upper floor. This type of three-light opening, with a semi-circular top to the central light, is called a Venetian window, and it was an especially popular feature in the first half of the 18th century. In this house, it breaks the architectural rules of the time. The usual pattern was for the top storey to be a ‘low-status’ floor, housing servants’ rooms lit with small windows – like the ones in the house to the left. The big Venetian window makes this little house look grand all the way to the top.

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