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TitleVictorian Houses and their Details
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Table of Contents
                            Victorian Houses and their details
Copyright Page
Chapter 1. Introduction
	Building Victorian Houses
	The Publishing World
Chapter 2. Architectural Pattern Books and Manuals for Victorian Houses
	Early Models
	Architectural Pattern Books and Manuals 1820–50
	The 1850s and 1860s
	Architectural Books 1870–1901
Chapter 3. Pattern Books and Manuals of Victorian Exterior and Interior Details
	Pattern Books of Designs
	Trade Manuals and Price Books
	Decoration and Home Manuals
Chapter 4. Trade Catalogues and Journals
	Trade catalogues
	Journals of Architecture, Building Trades and Home Furnishing
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Victorian Houses

Page 72

A popular book in Britain and in the USA was Picturesque Designs for
Mansions, Villas, Lodges, etc. with Decorations, Internal and External, Suitable
to Each Style, 1870, by C.J. Richardson (Figure 81). A former pupil of Sir John
Soane, and one of the evening masters of the Head Government School of

Design, Somerset House. Picturesque Designs was a less extravagant book than
his earlier works, such as Architectural Remains, 1837–40, costing £3 5s for
colour and gilt illustration. Its 500 wood engravings of dwellings and garden

buildings in a range of styles, included one cottage adapted from Vine Cot-

tage at Blaise Hamlet by John Nash (Figures 82–83). The name of the book

changed with the second edition in 1871, to a more modern sounding title,

The Englishman’s House, and ran to a fifth edition in 1898, appearing in New
York in 1873 as Housebuilding, From a Cottage to a Mansion. Other books aimed
at a popular market included A Freehold Villa for Nothing by I. Marvel, 1871,
a small, practical manual aimed at the amateur builder, with advice on repay-

ing loans and how to employ an architect to draw up specifications for £20

and design a front elevation for a guinea (Figure 84).

In the late 1850s and early 1860s, Eden W. Nesfield and Richard Norman

Shaw, pupils of Gothic Revivalist, Edmund Street, following Pugin’s lead, had

published books of sketches of historical architecture done in France, Italy and

Germany (Figures 85–87). Shaw and Nesfield rebelled against their Gothic past

a few years later, turning instead to sources like Dutch and English seventeenth

century domestic architecture for inspiration. The Queen Anne style for town

housing, characterized by an eclectic mix of red brick, sash windows, and Dutch

gables, was the result. J.J. Stevenson’s Red House of 1871 was London’s first

example of Queen Anne. In country housebuilding, there was a change fol-

lowing the agricultural depression of the 1870s to building smaller, less costly


What emerged instead was the Old English style of Nesfield and Shaw,

using pargetting and half-timbering. This picturesque cottage style had links

back to the cottage style of P.F. Robinson and others; Nesfield and Shaw were

also taught by J.D. Harding who did illustrations for Robinson’s books.

A new

Architectural pattern books and manuals for Victorian houses 61

Figure 82
Vine Cottage, Blaise Hamlet, 1810. (Courtesy of
The National Trust.)

Page 73

consensus emerged, in contrast to previous decades, and the designs of lead-

ing architects for smaller houses at Bedford Park, for example, were copied and

adapted by younger architects and builders (Figures 88 and 89).

The part played by publications, and in particular, by journals, in this trans-

mission of the Queen Anne style is also very significant. The numbers of pat-

tern books seem to slow in this period but there are some significant books.

Shaw, in collaboration with architect-trained W.H. Lascelles, who patented a

precast concrete slab system in 1875, published a pattern book of designs,

Sketches for Cottages and Other Buildings Designed to be Constructed in the Patent
Cement System of W.H. Lascelles, 1878 (Figure 90). Lascelles’ houses were illus-
trated in a popular manual, Shirley Foster Murphy’s Our Homes and How to
Keep Them Healthy, 1883, which had 16 contributors dealing with the topic
of healthy houses (Figure 91).

62 Victorian houses

Figure 83
Richardson�s version of Vine Cottage.

Figure 84
�Italian villa style� semi, costing £340 each house,
demonstrated prevalently conservative taste.

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