The word ‘bungalow’ comes from Gujarati and means ‘house in the Bengal 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.
It’s actually a very ancient style; 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. Meanwhile, the single-storey layout survived in many parts of the world, not least in Bengal, from where it was reimported to Britain.
Since then, the bungalow has almost become synonymous with older people and those with inhibited mobility, largely due to their lack of stairs.
And yet their appeal is actually much broader. Ater all, single-storey houses have a long – and continuing – history of accommodating whole families, rather than just their senior members.
Bungalows 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, which are all currently for sale in our area, are all so-called ‘dormer bungalows’ – which have most of their accommodation on the ground floor, but also have some supplementary space on the first floor.
Bryn Hyfryd is a Welsh name meaning ‘pleasant hill’, which is appropriate as the house by that name not only stands on one, but also looks out over Oak Beck onto one: Knox Hill, just to the north of Harrogate.
On the ground floor the house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two reception rooms, and on the first floor, where there has been a full loft conversion, there is another of each, plus loft space and walk-in wardrobe.
Outside there is an adjoining double garage with loft storage, long drive and good-sized gardens with terrace, greenhouse, which are very private due to the raised location.
In Knaresborough, Willow Bank is a superb riverfront property with full-length balcony and views towards the River Nidd, where it has fishing rights.
It has two bedrooms, large lounge and sunroom, and below there is a large garage with store room – all of which is accessible from ground-level due to the sloping ground.
To the front is a stepped paved area with driveway to the side, and to the rear is a large parking area with covered log store area and large garden stretching to the water’s edge.
Finally, 4 Bewerley Gardens is a spacious bungalow near the village green in Bewerley, which is just across the river from Pateley Bridge. It has three bedrooms – two of them upstairs – as well as a lounge, office, large kitchen and utility room. Outside, there’s a private courtyard garden with seating areas to the front.