It may be a mistake to equate bungalows with older people. After all, single-storey houses have a long – and continuing – history of accommodating whole families, rather than just their senior members.
For a long time – after the cave, but before the duplex apartment – our ancestors all lived in single-storey houses.
These were the days before the stone chimney, when most people had an open fire in a central room – the “fireroom” – and smoke would curl up to the rafters and escape through the thatch.
It was only in the 16th and 17th centuries that the new chimney technology began to trickle down to the masses, making a second floor of accommodation possible.
But the single-storey layout survived in many parts of the world, not least in Bengal, from where it was reimported to Britain.
In fact, bungalow means “house in the Bengali style”.Originally a very modest dwelling, the term came to describe the prestige residences of the Raj, before 20th century developers borrowed it to describe smaller houses again.
These various incarnations had one thing in common: they all had just one storey.
Their absence of stairs makes bungalows a popular choice among older people and those with inhibited mobility, but they can also offer an expansive sort of freedom that lends itself to open-plan living, and they’re popular with lovers of modern practicality.
The following three homes are all ‘true’ (i.e. single-storey) bungalows, and occupy different ends of the the local property market.
Spring Hill is a stone-built detached bungalow with 2,644 sq ft of accommodation and fantastic long-range views across the greens of Wetherby golf course and the lower Wharfe Valley.
It has three bedrooms (one of them en suite), kitchen with adjoining breakfast/family room, two good-sized reception rooms, conservatory, study and utility room with connecting door to the integrated double garage.
The house stands in one-and-a-half acres of gardens with electric gates and a long driveway to the garage and turning circle.
Number 39 Old Trough Way is an extended detached bungalow standing in a private corner plot adjoining the open countryside of Knox, on the very northern edge of Harrogate.
The 800 sq ft house has two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, decent-sized lounge and/or dining room, south-facing conservatory and integral single garage, and there is potential to extend and or re-design the property, subject to the usual planning consents.
Outside, there is off-street parking on the drive and gardens to the front and back with shed, greenhouse and seating areas, all sheltered by mature trees bordering the neighbouring fields.
Finally, 1 Bishop Garth is a semi-detached bungalow in an elevated position above Pateley Bridge, giving it beautiful views over the town and across Nidderdale.
It has two bedrooms, shower-room, kitchen and good-sized sitting room.
Outside, there is a lawned garden to the front and side, leading to the back where there is an enclosed garden and a single garage.