Georgian on my mind
By John Grainger, Property editor
Nearly everybody likes a Georgian building, and why not?
They’re old and have character, yet they also tend to be light, spacious and pleasingly regular.
In fact, if a poll were held, Georgian would almost certainly be named the “nation’s favourite architecture”.
So strong is its hold on the public imagination that a lot of modern housing draws heavily on Georgian style, with pillars, porticos and pilasters.
The epitome of this is Poundbury, Prince Charles’s experimental extension to Dorchester which is entirely built in period styles, and includes many Georgian-pastiche buildings, right down to the bricked-up windows that imitate the window-tax-dodging originals.
The Georgian architectural period lasted from 1720 to 1840 and embraced several styles, including Palladian, Neo-classical and Regency, but the governing principles remained fairly consistent.
It tended to be unremittingly symmetrical – irregularities were seen as flaws – and borrowed heavily from Classical styles, with high ceilings, large windows and detailed plasterwork. In their day, Georgian houses would have looked very modern, standing in sharp contrast to the irregular vernacular styles, which were all too often pokey and dimly lit.
So, for househunters who just can’t get enough of that Georgian symmetry, the following four properties all belong to the period and are all currently for sale in our area.
The grade II-listed Ashwell Lodge (main pic) on Bond End in Knaresborough is every inch the Georgian townhouse.
Its hipped roof (i.e. a gable-less one, where all sides slope down towards the walls), pediment and spider’s web fanlight are all fine examples of the era.
It has five bedrooms, three reception rooms and walled garden with adjoining garage.
It also has side views across the beautiful grounds of Conyngham Hall, which coincidentally is also Georgian, having been built by John Carr, the architect of Harewood House.
Mill House (top) at Ripley is a classically proportioned farmhouse in a superb rural setting.
The six-bedroom house still has many of its original features, including sash windows, open fireplaces and stone flag floors.
Thornton Beck runs through its 3.5 acres of gardens and grounds, which also include three stables and a tack room. More land may be available separately.
The Grange (above) at Marton-le-Moor is another grade II-listed Georgian house, with significant outbuildings.
Spacious and revelling in period detail, it has six bedrooms, four reception rooms, full-height attic store rooms and extensive dry cellars.
It has an acre of beautiful gardens, with summerhouse, pond and walled kitchen garden, as well as a range of outbuildings, including garaging, gardens stores and a large two-storey barn, which could potentially be converted.
Finally, The Barn (middle) forms part of an exceptional courtyard development which is grade II*-listed and was originally Plompton Hall stables, which were built by John Carr (him again) for the Lascelles family in 1757.
The four-bedroom semi-detached house has large gardens and – surely unique – a two-storey refurbished period smoke-house.
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