25 Royal Crescent Bath for Sale

As rows of terraced houses go, The Royal Crescent in Bath sits at the pinnacle.  Sited as one of Britain’s greatest ever examples of Georgian architecture, it was designed by John Wood the younger and took seven years to build, starting in 1764.  Now one of its houses is for sale.

 

To purchase one of the 30 available houses, the original buyers were each asked to buy a length of the facade.  They then had to employ their own architect to build the house behind, so what can appear to be ordered uniformity and symmetry at the front is actually a bit of a mess behind (or ‘business at the front: party at the back’ as it was once described to me by one of the owners).  This avant-garde approach to architecture occurs repeatedly across Bath.

During the 1900s many of the houses which had once been the residences of single families with maids and other staff were divided into offices and flats.  Of the 30 original houses only 10 remain as single dwellings, so when one comes on the market it is a rare occurrence.  Number 25 The Royal Crescent is now for sale through Savills with a guide price of £6.5 million.

The Grade I listed architecture of the facade of The Royal Cresent has 114 Ionic columns which rest on a rusticated ground floor.  It was the first crescent of houses to be built in the UK and with views over parkland was also a fine example of ‘rus in urbe’ architecture, meaning ‘the country in the city’.

However, with all formality comes the desire for rebellion.  In 1971, the resident of No 22 The Royal Crescent, Miss Amabel Wellesley-Colley, took it upon herself to paint the front door of her house canary yellow (the others are all white).  In her defence, she said she was upholding tradition because canary yellow was her great grandfather, The Duke of Wellington’s favourite colour.  As you can imagine, there was uproar, and the chattering classes of Bath went apoplectic with confected outrage.  Other owners of houses on The Royal Crescent fell back on a 1968 law for listed buildings which stated that property owners could not alter the appearance of the Royal Crescent without permission.  However, they underestimated Miss Amabel, who after spending thousands of pounds and battling it out in a 6 hour long public enquiry was found in favour by the Department for the Environment.

The door remains yellow to this day.

yellow door the royal cresent bath
A very English act of architectural rebellion.

 

25 The Royal Crescent Bath is for Sale through Savills.

 


As ever, do call us if you’d like to discuss a joinery design project further on +44 (0)1934 745270.  For more information on the range of project management services we offer, from design, installation and finish, please click here.

 

Little Thakeham for Sale

Little Thakeham, the house which Edwin Lutyens described as the ‘best of the bunch’ is for sale through Knight Frank, with a guide price of £5.5 million.

A large edwardian house in Sussex
Little Thakeham for Sale, West Sussex

 

It is no secret that at Artichoke we’re a big fan of Lutyens.  We have been fortunate to have been asked to work on several of his houses including Folly Farm.  As a designer and maker of architectural joinery, to be asked to add additional layers to his original works is one of the very greatest of privileges.   A previous blog post on the architectural joinery of Lutyens can be found here.

One of the great joys of Little Thakeham is in how Lutyens combined the Tudor style with Grand Edwardian Arts and Crafts country manor style.  We call it contemporary medieval, and it’s a very hard trick to pull off.  Lutyens managed to pull it off several times in fact (he was showing off) with Castle Drogo and Lindisfarne Castle being notable examples.

drawing room with large oriel window
The Drawing Room at Little Thakeham

 

The architectural design journey of Little Thakeham is not without controversy.  The client, Tom Blackburn, had made his fortune in America importing drink.  Returning with his fortune (and no doubt some drink), he commissioned the architect J Hatchard Smith to design a house which he then fell out of love with halfway through the build.  Sir Edwin Lutyens was called in for his opinion (which he gave with gusto) suggesting the half built house was pulled down and replaced with one built from local Pulborough stone.  Hatchard Smith was laid off (and paid off) and Lutyens got the job.

Quite brilliantly, Lutyens managed to sketch the entire house’s layout onto two sheets of paper on the train journey home following his first client meeting with Tom Blackburn.  He handed them to his architectural technician on his return who then drew them up.

And the Little Thakeham for sale today is the very same one sketched out on his train journey home.

 


As ever, do call us if you’d like to discuss a joinery design project further on +44 (0)1934 745270. For more information on the range of project management services we offer, from design, installation and finish, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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