Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ludlow, Shropshire

The Venetian window, also known as the serliana, after the Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio, was an invention of the Italians that first appeared in English buildings in the 17th century. This kind of window has three lights, the central one being wider than the other two and arched, to give a pleasing symmetrical design. Such a window often formed a centrepiece to a façade. There would usually be just one, in the middle of the main storey, generally the first floor where the grand reception rooms were. A Venetian window gave a sense of balance, focus, and sophistication to the front of many a Stuart and Georgian house.

On a really large country house front, with side wings, an architect might include three Venetian windows. It wasn’t quite the done thing to have a whole façade-full of them, as here in Ludlow. But whoever lived here clearly couldn’t have enough of them. Or perhaps they were trying to set some sort of record. And why not, for once? The interiors must be beautifully light and the exterior has that sense of difference, that disregard for the norm, that makes some English buildings stand out.


Peter Ashley said...

Obviously a job lot down at Ludlow Builders.

Thud said...

Even the Georgians had wags and lottery winners!...time makes it look rather pleasing though.

Philip Wilkinson said...

What only occurred to me after I took the photograph was that the middle two windows have glazing bars in a Gothic pattern whereas the others are in the more usual style. A mixed job-lot, then.