Sunday, July 6, 2014

Farthingstone, Northamptonshire

How Tudor is it?

Admiring the King’s Arms in the middle of the Northamptonshire village of Farthingstone (my photograph is taken from the churchyard across the road) I naturally wondered how old it is. The gables, dripstones, and flattened entrance arch all give it a Tudor or Jacobean appearance. Those distinctive lattice windows, though, look like a later addition, from the first half of the 19th century, perhaps. There’s a window at the side, shown in my second photograph that also has an early-19th century look, with Gothic Y-tracery glazing bars.

The facts are rather different. The building is actually a 19th-century neo-Tudor design, albeit done by masons working in a tradition that could still turn out Tudor-looking buildings in the vernacular without necessarily reviving the earlier style in a self-conscious way. They were conscious enough of their worth, though, to leave an initial H, for their surname, Hurley, on the middle gable. The carving protruding form the right-hand gable may be something reused from an earlier building.

The windows, by the way, are neither sash nor casement. They have clever pivoting sections, as you can see on the ‘Gothic’ example in my second photograph. The windows with diamond-shaped panes have diamond-shaped pivoting sections. It is as if the industrial age, in the shape of metal-frames and ingenious hinges (and indeed the rather hard-looking pale bricks that surround the ‘Gothic’ window) has added its contribution to this amalgam of Tudor and Victorian design. An interesting mix.


Lake Nokomis said...

Yes, it is an unusual mix, but charming just the same. The specific detail on the window was interesting. Thank you for the time you put into the blog.

Sue McGilveray said...

I do ejjoy your articles

Hels said...

That is both the joy and the problem with neo-something design. The more skilled the 19th century architect and designer, the less likely you are to know when the building was originally created.

Does it matter? No, if the 19th century architect was just saluting his Tudor ancestors who had inspired him. But sometimes yes. If Walt Disney rebuilt Hampton Court Palace in Los Angeles and invited tourists to get the real Tudor experience, we might want to call it Mock Tudor, not Neo-Tudor.