Friday, January 24, 2014

Blandford Forum, Dorset


I make no excuse for returning to the Dorset town of Blandford Forum, which has featured in posts on this blog before. It's one of the best places to savour urban domestic buildings of the mid-18th century, and here is a particularly mouth-watering example. Lime Tree House was built in c. 1760 after the fire of 1731 that destroyed much of the town. The builders were John and William Bastard, who were responsible for most of the town's 18th-century reconstruction, and they built the house for their five sisters. It's one of the more upmarket houses in the centre of Blandford and follows the pattern of the town's houses designed for the professional and merchant classes – a room with two sash windows on either side of a central front door, fireplaces in the end walls, and a fairly narrow plan with a single roof and dormer windows. These houses usually have an ornate doorway and the doorway of Lime Tree House, with its curving canopy and Tuscan pilasters, is one of the building's outstanding features. Another eye-catching thing about this house is the delightful mottled purple and red brickwork. Blandford's brickwork is one of the best things about the town, but the lovely mixture of shades in the bricks of this house is particularly good.

Lime Tree House is home to the Blandford Fashion Museum. For more information, go here.

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