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It is undoubtedly an erroneous impression that ugly, crude, or tasteless buildings are necessarily cheaper, or that picturesque, convenient, and architecturally well-proportioned buildings must relatively be more costly.
I have said elsewhere that my two favorite genres are 19th-century travel and 19th-century humor. To this must be added: 19th-century domestic architecture.
Maurice Bingham Adams (1849–1933) had a long professional career, both as architect and author. One activity fed into the other; in the present book, for example, seven of the fifty numbered Plates represent his own work. And then there was the time he won a design competition sponsored by the publisher of Building News . . . at a time when he himself was the editor.
Heads-up for Americans: This is a British book, so the word “cottage” doesn’t mean what you expect. More often than not, cottages come in pairs, groups or even rows. In this book the main exceptions are lodges or gatehouses, since by their nature there’s just one of them. If you want a small, free-standing house, that’s a “bungalow” . . . which will probably have an upper story, just like the cottage.
Stairs, incidentally, are often tucked out of sight in obscure locations. Since there is no upstairs drawing room as there would be in a large town house, and no spacious guest rooms as in a large country house, there is no need for the stairs to be located front-and-center.
The observant reader will notice that, despite the title word “Modern”, there is scarcely a bathroom to be seen. There is the occasional water closet (W.C.), but there is just as likely to be an earth closet (E.C.).
In the printed book, the fifty numbered Plates were grouped at the end of the book, after all text. For this ebook it seemed more useful to interlock the Plates with their detailed descriptions.
Click or tap on each Plate or Figure for a close-up view of the floor plans.
The printed book wasn’t long enough to warrant a Table of Contents, though there is a List of Plates. In case anyone needs to know:
|List of Plates||iii|
|Notes Concerning Cottage Building||1|
|The Economical Aspect of Artistic Building||2|
|Methods of Appropriate Building||3|
|Use of Local Materials||4|
|Hints on Practical Details||5|
|Sanitary Arrangements and Fittings||6|
|Arrangement and Aspect of Buildings||8|
|Heights of Rooms||11|
|Use of Materials||13|
|“Week-End,” Or Middle-Class, Cottages||16|
|Notes on the Planning and Design of the Subjects Illustrated||18|
|Descriptive List of the Plates||22|
This ebook is based on the 1904 first edition, using scans at The Internet Archive made from a copy at Cornell University. In 1912 came a second edition, “revised and enlarged”. Among other things, the Plates grew from 50 to 83, and there are more floor plans and photographs. But we’ll stick with the original fifty.
Typographical errors are marked with and are listed again at the bottom of the page. The word “invisible” means that the letter or punctuation mark is missing, but there is an appropriately sized blank space.
MODERN COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE
FROM WORKS OF WELL-KNOWN ARCHITECTS
WITH AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ON COTTAGE BUILDING AND NOTES ON THE SUBJECTS
MAURICE B. ADAMS, f.r.i.b.a.
Author of “Artists’ Homes,” “Old English Houses,” &c.
FIFTY EXAMPLES REPRODUCED FROM DRAWINGS WITH THE PLAN OF EACH
B. T. BATSFORD, 94 HIGH HOLBORN
THERE is no more interesting feature of English Architecture of to-day, as of former times, than the Cottage; and although some attention has recently been given to the illustration of its prototype, it is remarkable that no book devoted to examples of Modern Cottage Architecture has appeared for some years past, although it is certainly true that all classes of Cottage buildings, from the humble labourer’s three-roomed dwelling to the more pretentious Entrance Lodge, have undergone considerable improvement during the past decade or two, and the evolution of the popular weekend Cottage has come about in the meantime.
The object of the present volume is to illustrate, by plans and views, a series of examples mainly of the first two classes named, but supplemented by a few of the more distinctly modern type. It is hoped that the appearance of two or three somewhat larger buildings of this kind may be justified by the value of the examples themselves.
The permanent value of such a book must chiefly depend upon the character and variety of the designs included in its pages. These have been executed in different parts of the country by Architects whose work has been deservedly associated with the contemporary development of English Domestic Architecture. In selecting the subjects illustrated, the endeavour has been to bring together a representative series of some of the best examples available, irrespective of any particular style of design or type of work; and the Editor is deeply indebted to the numerous gentlemen who have placed at his disposal, for the purpose, drawings and plans of the best work of the kind in their portfolios, and, in some instances, have had special drawings prepared for this book. He trusts that his own “Notes upon Cottage Building” will be found useful to some of those who may not yet have given any special attention to the subject and are in need of such information.
MAURICE B. ADAMS.
“Edenhurst,” Bedford Park,
London, June 1st, 1904.
|1.||Cottages, Knebworth||E. L. Lutyens.|
|2.||Cottages at Broadway, Worcestershire||E. Guy Dawber.|
|3.||Group of Three Workmen’s Cottages, Port Sunlight||Maurice B. Adams.|
|4.||Group of Five Workmen’s Cottages, Port Sunlight||Maurice B. Adams.|
|5.||Block of Nine Cottages, Port Sunlight||William & Segar Owen.|
|6.||Block of Four Cottages, Broadlands, Kent||W. Eden Nesfield.|
|7.||Pair of Proposed Cottages, Madresfield Court, Malvern||C. F. A. Voysey.|
|8.||Six Cottages at Elmesthorpe, near Leicester||C. F. A. Voysey.|
|9.||Pair of Cottages, Waverton, Cheshire||Douglas & Minshull.|
|10.||Cottages, Hadfodunos, Abergele, N. Wales||William & Segar Owen.|
|11.||Cottages, Courtstile, Kent||Mervyn Macartney.|
|12.||Dormay Cottages, Overbury, Worcester||Ernest Newton.|
|13.||Three Cottages at Shackleford, Surrey||H. Tanner, junr.|
|14.||Group of Cottages, Paddockhurst, Sussex||Aston Webb, R.A.|
|15.||Pair of Cottages, Paddockhurst, Sussex||Aston Webb, R.A.|
|16.||A Group of Cottages at Eaton Hastings, Berks||Ernest George & Yeates.|
|17.||Cottages, Eaton Hastings, Berks||Ernest George & Yeates.|
|18.||Entrance Lodge||R. Norman Shaw, R.A.|
|19.||Broadlands, Entrance Lodge to Main Approach||W. Eden Nesfield.|
|20.||Entrance Lodge, Stonelands, Sussex||E. W. Mountford.|
|21.||The Lodge, Overbury, Worcester||Ernest Newton.|
|22.||Lodge at Leamington||R. A. Briggs.|
|23.||Bailiff’s Cottage, Rookery Estate, Westcott, Surrey||Maurice B. Adams.|
|24.||Lodge, Caythorpe Court, Lincolnshire||Reginald Blomfield.|
|25.||Entrance Lodge at Marlow||R. A. Briggs.|
|26.||Acton County School, The Caretaker’s Cottage||Maurice B. Adams.|
|iv 27.||Coachman’s Cottage, Cavenham, Suffolk||A. N. Prentice.|
|28.||Lodge, Angley Park, Cranleigh||Mervyn Macartney.|
|29.||Gardener’s Cottage, Forest Row||W. Henry White.|
|30.||Cottages, Pulford Drive, Eaton||Douglas & Minshull.|
|31.||Entrance Gate and Lodge, Cavenham Hall, Suffolk||A. N. Prentice.|
|32.||Gardener’s Cottage, Great Warley, Essex||E. Guy Dawber.|
|33.||Lodge at Wraysbury||T. E. Collcutt.|
|34.||Lodge and Gates, Eaton||Douglas & Minshull.|
|35.||New Entrance Lodges, Toddington, Gloucestershire||E. J. May.|
|36.||Lodge at East Grinstead||T. E. Collcutt.|
|37.||Lodge at Oakfield Mortimer||Leonard Stokes.|
|38.||A Suburban Cottage at Bedford Park, W.||Maurice B. Adams.|
|39.||Cottages at Medmenham and Northolt||Arnold Mitchell.|
|40.||Nurse’s Cottage, Heathfield, Sussex||Geoffrey Lucas.|
|41.||Cottage Isolation Home, Chalfont, Bucks||Maurice B. Adams.|
|42.||House at Royston||John Belcher, A.R.A.|
|43.||Semi-Detached Cottages, Surrey||Niven & Wigglesworth.|
|44.||New Lodge at Forty Hill, Enfield, N.||Sydney W. Cranfield.|
|45.||Cottage Hospital, Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks||Maurice B. Adams.|
|46.||Doctor’s Cottage, Mansfield, Notts||Bateman & Bateman.|
|47.||Seaside Cottage, Cowes, Isle of Wight||George Sherrin.|
|48.||Cottage at Gough Park, Enfield||Sydney W. Cranfield.|
|49.||Semi-Detached Houses, Byfleet, Surrey||Niven & Wigglesworth.|
|50.||Soot Pray Farm, Worplesdon||Leonard Stokes.|
COTTAGE Building is for many reasons a fascinating subject, possessing attractions peculiarly its own, while the planning of these small houses permits of so much ingenuity that the problem always seems to present some new scope for further improvement or fresh ideas. This interest is of course much increased when Cottages of an artistically appropriate kind are intended to be built, without allowing bald utilitarian considerations to determine every detail.
It is obvious enough that the initial outlay on undertakings of this sort must bear a proportionate relation to the available returns on the necessary outlay, and in most cases this question of cost obviously has to be considered. Everyone embarking on investments of such a nature where rents have to be reckoned in relation to the wage-earning capacity of the tenants, must of course frankly recognise ways and means. To ensure success the Cottages themselves should be adapted to the needs of the people who actually have to live in them, and the dwellings also ought to be arranged in accordance with the habits of the occupiers, otherwise Ideal Model Dwellings are apt to become utopian. The buildings also should be contrived so as to minimise continued expense in permanent maintenance. Economy of construction has to be closely observed, and under ordinary conditions the margin of profit on Cottage properties in rural districts generally leaves little option in such speculations. The depression which for some while past has been associated with agricultural interests, has of course inflicted a mutual loss on employers as well as on the employed, and when building operations have been put in hand rigid economy has induced in some cases a short-sighted and parsimonious mode of building. On a large number of Country Estates considerable accumulations of dilapidation from the same cause have been permitted, accompanied by the attendant evils which must accrue from negligence of that sort. Few farming properties, at any period, can be said to have ever been adequately equipped with suitable and sanitary housings for the workers on the land, while for some unexplained reason the majority of existing Cottages appear to have been put up without any reference to the loss of time and waste of energy consequent upon the drudgery incidental to the long distances to be trudged over the fields and across country in all weathers to and from the men’s work. A few isolated serious endeavours were made years back by the Duke of Bedford and others, including the Society for Improving the Dwellings of the Labouring Classes, but the agricultural depression already mentioned has for a long period left little room for such enterprises either by the superior landowners or their leaseholders. In dealing with the question of Cottage erection this aspect of the matter cannot be ignored, and the altered economic condition of things which have come about, must not only be recognised but accepted in dealing with this subject. For example, it is well to remember that when our population numbered 27,000,000, in the days of the Crimean War, we produced nearly all our own food, 2 but now with a population of 41,000,000, three-fourths of our food is imported, our farmers having in the meantime laid down to grass land on which it no longer pays to grow wheat. Cattle and stock of all kinds have diminished likewise in proportion, money in the meanwhile being directed to other channels. One inevitable result has been that the upkeep of Cottages, Farmsteads, and other rural buildings has been shirked, so that not a few of such tenements have fallen into disuse and have become sadly dilapidated or deteriorated beyond satisfactory repair. Following upon this condition of things the housing question has become one of urgency, and therefore it has received more immediate attention on the part of the State, while Local Government Board regulations have come into force, concurrently with the County Councils being empowered by Parliament with authority to advance money for the development of allotments.
The model By-Laws issued under Statute have been more or less generally adopted by local Sanitary Authorities, who in this way have insisted on materially expensive requirements, which do not tend to lessen the cost of Cottage building. Greater freedom is to be obtained by erecting Cottages under the Board of Agriculture, if that can be managed; but where District Councils’ By-Laws prevail this is not always possible. These last-named regulations are often very arbitrary and exceedingly vexatious, especially when rules, originally intended for governing building procedure in villages and country townships, are made to apply to open country-side places, where it is clear many highly proper limitations, suitable enough for crowded areas, become mischievous incongruities, imposing needless expense and incurring other hardships. It may freely be admitted however that in the main great improvements from a sanitary and structural standpoint have resulted of late years from Parliamentary Building regulation enactments, not only in Cottage properties, but in all kinds of residential buildings. Naturally these improvements however cost money, and the price of building in other ways has been increased.
The main cause however of enhanced expenditure in all building undertakings is the result of advanced prices all round in wages and in materials used in the building trade, added to which must be reckoned the growing and almost universal practice among operatives of reducing as far as possible the amount of work rendered day by day in return for the utmost amount of wage procurable. Such conditions proportionately raise rental values, and the scarcity of skilled labour procurable in country districts only aggravates the difficulty; consequently comparatively nominal rents only can be insured for Cottages, so that in future employers of agricultural labour, in common with manufacturers in suburban neighbourhoods, more or less remote from the larger centres of activity, must reckon their return by calculating as a whole the wages paid and the rents received. Such briefly is an outline of the economic circumstances which have to be thought of, and which must be mentioned in any practical epitome on the current conditions dominating the problem of Cottage enterprise.
To those who have not had occasion to devote much attention to the subject these questions may appear somewhat beyond the limits of such a book as this. The artistic aspect of country-side architecture naturally appeals to the majority of readers far more directly than any discussion on financial matters would do, however appropriate and 3 necessary others will consider such question of ways and means. However, it is undoubtedly an erroneous impression that ugly, crude, or tasteless buildings are necessarily cheaper, or that picturesque, convenient, and architecturally well-proportioned buildings must relatively be more costly. There is such a thing indeed in building, fittingly described as “cheap and nasty,” which in plain terms reads, “dear at any price.” Indifferent construction and poor materials may without a doubt be depended upon to incur perpetual expense in the up-keep which bad work renders unavoidable. There is only one reliable way of minimising the ultimate cost of maintenance, and if this does mean a larger initial outlay, the advantage of a wise investment is thereby insured. This amounts to a sufficiently self-evident commonplace, which might perhaps have demanded an apology but for the fact that people are continually endeavouring to obtain what they term “cheap building work,” and with this end are induced to put their faith in the so-called “practical man,” who, however efficient in many other ways, unblushingly gives the most conclusive evidence as to his entire inability to produce well-contrived, properly-built, and homely, or tasteful houses. The speculating builder is no doubt often exceedingly clever, and in an ingenious fashion knows how to cater for the public, occasionally providing quite a remarkable amount of accommodation of a kind for a strictly modest rental; and he also quite understands to what extent a degree of pretentiousness attracts the popular fancy. He builds to sell, and in common with all speculating investments when he realises, the profits are large. No architect can compete on these lines with such builders, and he need not attempt to do so, though in the long run there can remain no question as to which kind of building pays the owner best. An unqualified designer not only fails to obtain a homely character and graceful simplicity in his work, but he seldom if ever employs his materials economically, scamp as he may; and buildings carried out in this fashion will in all likelihood cost the building owner much more than if he had given his commission to a good architect. Even assuming that the money outlay in either instance be the same, and that in structural stability there is not much difference, it cannot be pretended that the results in any sense are identical, even though the numbers and areas of the rooms may correspond.
The main essentials consist of the charm of artistic fitness by which alone a building can be harmonised with its site and surroundings, making it as it were part of the ground on which it stands, restful and unobtrusive, comfortable and suitable. These are the qualities which alone can impart interest and give durable pleasure. Such qualities do not depend so much upon money expenditure as upon an application of thought and good taste. They exist quite apart from elaborateness of detail, and are mostly obtained by avoiding all ornamental excrescences, which ill accord with the environment of the hedgerow and the coppice. Picturesqueness comes of simplicity of form, and belongs to good proportion, producing pleasant groupings, giving graceful skylines, and casting telling shadows, so essential for contrast and colour. Cottage beauty has nothing in common with ostentation, and the acme of vulgarity is the “Cottage ornée,” now more often termed a “maisonette” by those whose aim in life is to be considered really “up-to-date.”
It is relatively easy to state what ought to be avoided in Cottage building, though it is more difficult to carry conviction, particularly in any matters of taste. We will endeavour 4 however to briefly state how to proceed in order to secure a more satisfactory class of building, and it may be useful to incorporate here and there a few suggestions dictated by experience, thus furnishing items of a practical kind which are likely to prove acceptable in a variety of ways. There are very few rules which can be wisely laid down with insistence, though it cannot be urged too often that, by employing the materials of the country-side in which the intended buildings are to be erected, the influence of local colour and texture will be best obtained. It is the influence of materials on design which nearly always gives that charm to old buildings, which is never made shabby by age, and which weathering always enhances. The smug, natty notion of newness, so spankingly spruce in its coat of fresh paint, possesses no endurance, because it only belongs to a surface finishing incapable of wear, and which really never looks nice unless it is periodically renewed. Such buildings possess no texture such as the old traditional work invariably displays, and it must be from the remains of vernacular work scattered up and down historic England that the best type and most suitable style of design will invariably be found. This old work is not necessarily suitable for literal imitation, but as a key-note for our modern work it is unsurpassed.
Every district is more or less rich in examples of historical Cottages, and by a little intelligent observation it will be seen how they differ in their local peculiarities of treatment, and always seem to harmonize with their special environment. Mere transcripts of old buildings will not suffice, and the more perfect the copy the more it is open to the grave objection of being an artistic fraud, intended to deceive. Precedent must not be ignored, though a new building ought unquestionably to be designed in a modern way, and planned to embody present-day requirements. It was so when the Old Architecture which we so greatly admire was built, and there can be now no affectation in the healthy grasp of contemporary ideals, and in the recognition of the present-day style of living. Our homes, to be worthy of their name, ought, as a matter of fact, to reflect ourselves, our habits, and our personal needs.
Turning again to the old-world Cottages of the hamlet, we shall notice an appropriate method about them in the manner in which their builders employed their roofing and walling materials in different localities; and not a few hints may be obtained in this way, because these ancestral workmen were eminently practical people, and their expedients were the result of traditional uses handed on through generations. Their work too will furnish very often most useful ideas towards cheapening our modern building, by showing how the materials to hand were used in this vernacular way.
Undoubted reasons may occasionally, of course, preclude the employment of the materials of the vicinity where our new buildings are to be placed; and although cartage is often a considerable item of cost, the temptation afforded by the facilities of railway transit for the importation of “foreign” building materials furnishes too often an excuse for changing the old order of things. Whenever this has to be done, care should be exercised so to make choice of only such materials as shall not offend by too violent a contrast with the indigenous or country-side type of work common to the place. In any event, be sure to avoid all that is out of harmony with the countrified spirit of the neighbourhood, excluding from the midst of “the rural sounds of languid nature” things which only belong rightly to the Town. When bricks have to be used in a stone country, 5 select brindled ones, or gray headers, using dull reds rather than brilliant orange facings, which naturally look at home in Hampshire or Berks. Should slates be insisted on in lieu of tiles in a clay district, give the preference to Delabole gray ones, avoiding those of Westmoreland green or Bangor blue. Green slate is a delightful material in itself, but it seems out of place where sand-faced tiles are locally available for Cottage work. No matter what the materials may be, good results can only be insured by the employment of thought and good taste. For Cottage design, the less variety of materials used the better. Patches of stone coming here and there cut up the breadth of effect in a brick facade very badly, and big coarse slates or tiles—particularly the interlocking patent ones—are out of scale with small buildings, and tend to ruin good proportions.
No endeavour is made in this book to furnish ready-made designs applicable to any variety of sites or of differing requirements. Its chief aim is to be suggestive to those who are contemplating the erection of the smaller kinds of domestic or Cottage buildings in an architectural and inexpensive way on the lines herein advocated. The examples chosen for illustration present no inconsiderable variety, and certainly will serve to give ideas.
Having thus briefly in general terms alluded to the most important matters connected with the subject, it is proposed to discuss in more precise detail some particulars which assume the nature of practical hints about various parts of such building work, and by these means assist in preventing mistakes which are calculated to give disappointment and cause ultimate regret.
Before considering any scheme of plan it would appear most desirable to settle the question of site. We have taken for granted that the problem of cost has already been determined. Sites in country places usually permit of alternatives, and some freedom of choice is of course a great gain, though it goes without saying that the respective merits of two or more sites can only be settled on the spot. Anyhow it is of the utmost consequence that preliminary enquiries should be made on the ground, for there alone can the local exigencies be studied to advantage. It is moreover of paramount importance that the primary questions of water supply and drainage should be considered and settled before any plans of the buildings are made, at least concerning the source of the former and the outfall of the latter. These provisions naturally can only be determined in individual cases on their own merits, having regard to the special peculiarities which may present themselves. Any hard and fast lines of procedure are likely to be inappropriate, and all rules must provide for infractions under special circumstances. For this reason Local By-Laws are often found to be most arbitrary and unsuitable. Those who have had any experience in such matters are more or less familiar with the extremes to which well-meaning officials, armed with such enactments, are prepared to carry their insistence about a variety of things which are not only in themselves doubtful expedients, but which under certain circumstances become either radically wrong or positively absurd. The result is that a vast deal of annoyance is caused, and no little expense will be spared by arriving at an agreed scheme before any work is started. The intending builder, by the exercise of a little forethought in this way, probably will avoid many needless disputes with the Local Sanitary Authority. All 6 By-Laws require an amount of common sense and no little savoir faire to insure their reasonable administration. The advice of an architect is more than likely to prove a great assistance in this matter.
The site available for a Cottage in the ordinary way will not be a large one. Too much garden would be beyond the ability and time of a working man, and whatever its extent the immediate surroundings of a house ought to be made part and parcel of the building, for it is this condition of things which adds the special charm to all successful country work, either old or new. Individuality and appropriateness can assuredly be got by making the building fit its site and grow naturally out of it.
With a small plot it is sometimes a gain to place the building almost close up into one corner of the site—say, by preference into the north-east angle. By this means a roomy garden area is obtained, clear of the shadow of the house, and giving a well-sheltered space for fruit trees and borders. Few contrivances are more utterly wretched than a small garden patch with a northern aspect, wherein hardly anything will grow and nothing will flourish, while, added to the discomfort of such an arrangement, is the sunless apartment possessed of so depressing an outlook. Speculating builders seldom, if ever, consider matters of this sort, and by adopting the prescribed frontage line, disregard far more important matters, repeating regulation plans originally made for use as one of a series, or intended to be built in a row on estates “cut up” for building, by creating “improved ground rents.”
If a choice is to be had there can be no doubt that a site facing south-east, preferably with a slope in that direction, is the best. It would serve but little purpose to discuss here the nature of soils, or enter into the merits of gravel, chalk, or clay. Lowland sites are more likely to furnish the advantage of gravel, which, in many respects, naturally makes the best soil to live on; undulating country and well-wooded land is mostly clay; while chalk sites belong to hills and elevated situations, generally dry and healthy enough, but too exposed for those who look for shelter and seek the environment of trees.
It is not proposed to encroach upon our limited space by a detailed description of drainage, but perhaps it will be useful to furnish a few practical notes upon the matter. At the outset it may be reasonably assumed that all who undertake building enterprises in the Twentieth Century are fully aware of the pre-eminent importance of a thorough and efficient sanitary scheme; nevertheless it can but be admitted that experts in sanitation are prone to overdo the use of appliances in such matters, and inspectors display a tendency, too often in their practice, towards complicating drainage work by encouraging the needless multiplication of specialists’ contrivances. The more simple all such arrangements are made the more efficient they will probably be. No part of the building work is less likely to be properly executed, and every drain ought to be thoroughly tested by filling it with water its entire length, including the vertical pipes, before any system is passed. Each section of the work should be made accessible, either by brick-formed chambers or stoneware-capped openings at all angles. When inspection-pits are built they must have iron double-sealed covers for ready access. All tube drains ought to be laid in straight lines, and every trapped section must be ventilated, a fresh-air inlet being provided to the isolating trapped chamber situate at the entrance of the property, and disconnecting it from the public sewer gases.7
Many Cottages, and perhaps the vast majority of them, can have no such public easements, and therefore provision for an outfall has to be specially arranged. The problem of biological disposal of the effluent from the septic tank system has recently been much simplified, and it can now be managed by a cheap form of irrigation, or can be discharged by the aid of an automatic syphon into underground land drains at a considerably modified cost. An inexpensive aërobic filter is now contrived by arranging a small heap of filtering material freely exposed to the air, and located in any simple excavation of any shape or size, provided a fall can be got. This will furnish all that is practically required without necessitating expensive distributors and elaborate conduits, so that special appliances below the surface of the ground are not now required. Costly-built tanks, too, can be avoided. Two detritus tanks for alternate use can be quite well formed with chalk or rubble stone and rendered inside, or if the site be clay they can be formed in that and puddled. These septic tanks do not smell, and need not be covered in, but the flow through must not last longer than twenty-four Each person must be calculated to imply 30 gallons per day, but in Cottage property the quantity would be less. The size of the tanks are thus determined by the bulk of one day’s capacity.
It will be convenient to give here (Fig. 1) a sketch section of a brick-built tank and filter installation appropriate to Cottage Building, and fitted with intermittent sprinklers as supplied by the Septic Tank Company, Westminster.
The other sanitary sketches (Fig. 2) show an outhouse used for some labourers’ Cottages erected on the Marquis of Hertford’s property, and designed by Col. Raikes, F.S.I., the agent for the Rugby Estates, as illustrated in “The Estate Magazine.” The privy is built, as the section shows, over a shallow panned-out receptacle, rendered in cement and covered by a dent roof. It is intended to receive ashes as well, and can be easily cleaned out from the rear; for there are no drains at all, the slops and sink waste being collected in a pail and thrown on to the garden. Adjoining the privy is a pigsty, the roof of which forms a loft for seed potatoes and the like. Each pigsty has a small dumb well or soakage pit, the liquid manure also being distributed over the land. Practically this privy is a form of earth closet, and it is agreed to by the Board of Agriculture, though some District Councils’ By-Laws would preclude such a practical and convenient arrangement.
Earth closets have many advantages, but they need constant attention, and are better adapted to a higher class of property than the ordinary Cottage home. If attached to 8 any dwelling they require to be approached by a freely-ventilated or open covered-in way. When used indoors they can only be treated as improved commodes.
A copious provision of soft water-butts is desirable, and if a well has to be relied on for drinking supply, of course it must be carefully located beyond any chance of contamination. This is most important, seeing that no more fruitful source of illness exists than bad well water, still common enough, and often met with in all country districts. In arranging a contract with a builder for the erection of work, it is usually wiser to let him provide his own building water supply, otherwise he may be hindered through the fault of others, and be furnished with an opportunity to claim extras on that account. This little point is mentioned because a building owner may think he would effect a saving by undertaking to convey water to a site, but this is very doubtful.
The exact amount of accommodation necessary for a Cottage is by no means a matter so readily determined as at first sight might be thought likely, though there can be no hesitation in scheming the contrivance of all such plans with every regard to economy of arrangement. Every enclosed foot of space costs money, and must be utilized as far as possible. It is also of the first importance to make the most of the warmth of the flues; fuel is expensive and always makes a serious item of course in the current expenses of every home. There is in fact nothing which taxes the income of the poor more obviously. The chimney should for this reason be located towards the centre of the building; and besides, it is cheaper to group the flues into one stack if that can be done, thus giving an opportunity of simplifying the construction and formation of the roof. The more nearly the shape of a building of this kind approaches a cube in form the less probably will be its cost. Every break or departure from rectilinear lines will increase the expense. The plainer the treatment of the wall face is, without oversailing projections, the cheaper the scheme. In no event can the advantage of good eaves however be dispensed with; they protect the walls from driving rains, and give a shadow greatly improving external appearance. The value of colour is of much importance, and can be obtained quite inexpensively with brick or stone and rough-cast. Tile or slate hanging always looks well, besides insuring weather-tight work in exposed situations.
Another practical important point is the need of protection from the cold north-east winds and the south-west gales. The countryman has no doubt whatever about such matters. In some districts it is interesting to observe in evidence of this, how the old builders of Cottages and Farms placed their country-side buildings with their shoulders, so to speak, to the prevailing cold windy quarter. Thus, in Lincolnshire, the houses may be seen without any windows whatever, and perhaps not a doorway opening, fronting the north or north-east, the object being to protect the inmates from the wintry blasts sweeping their coasts from the North Sea. The homestead nestling in the valley, or tucked away behind the tree screens, common in Combe farms, invariably shows the care of our forefathers in this respect. Large windows should always be avoided on north frontages, unless light is wanted for a studio or such purpose. Few people need to be told that the best aspect is the south-east; also that it is never desirable to place a house directly north and south, or some of the rooms will get no sun at all.9
It is more than doubtful if rustics really appreciate prospect in the way people of more cultivated taste do, but artisans and labourers certainly like to have a lively outlook, so that they may see what is going on from their living rooms. In small properties the tenants necessarily have to live in close quarters, consequently, for the separate enjoyment of each tenement, it is desirable to separate both the house and its offices as much as possible from the adjacent ones. Cottages built in rows always more or less fail in this respect, and to some extent the difficulty is inevitable.
In the interests of peace and quietness there should be no conveniences used in common, not even a general washhouse, such as in days gone by used to be provided at the back of Cottages. In detached Cottages this difficulty does not occur, but in contriving a Lodge, under all circumstances the outlook of the building must readily cover the gates and entrance road, while the domestic parts of such premises need screening to avoid being too much in evidence from the grounds or park.
Cottage windows as a rule should be casement lights, as they are not only cheaper, but, generally speaking, appear to be better adapted to a picturesque style of simple buildings than double-hung sashes. The difficulty of not being able to reach the outsides of all the casement lights for cleaning is sometimes got over by hanging them in their centres on pivot pins in the heads and sills. This method of hanging needs care to keep out the wet. Metal casements cost more, but the intermediate lights can be made fixtures, so that the outlay as a whole is not much greater, particularly if the quarry lead glazing of the non-opening lights is fixed directly into rebated mullions by oak beads. Where transoms are introduced hopper lights can be employed, though in small domestic architecture windows are seldom ample enough to justify them. The width of spacings between the mullions should be about fifteen inches, and windows divided by mullions into bays of long low proportions look most appropriate and homely.
The chief concomitant contributing to the convenience of a restricted dwelling is that the place shall avoid a cramped effect, and provide an air of roominess with plenty of elbow space. This actually depends much more upon the manner in which the doors, windows, and fire hearths are placed than in uncommon spaciousness, which is beyond the limits of a Cottage. It makes all the difference as to the provision of useful wall surfaces in the detailed setting out of any apartment, whether comfortable occupation is secured or not. The chimney corner, with a good light to read or work by, and plenty of room to get past the fireplace when meals are in progress, are among the items of arrangement which ought to be always reckoned of the first consequence.
The vexed question as to whether it is better to provide a parlour as well as a living room in a Cottage, is likely to remain a very arguable subject, which cannot be settled by any fast and hard conclusions; indeed experience has proved that Cottage dwellers, whatever may be said, will not stop in an old-fashioned family-room dwelling when they can obtain the option of going into a modern one provided with a “parlour.” Gardeners and coachmen will even give up good situations for this reason, for it is the height of their 10 ambition to possess a third ground floor room, in which the wife may harbour a collection of tawdry dust-collecting ornaments, as a sort of best room for Sunday and sundry occasions. No doubt in many ways it would be really better and wiser for every-day occupation and comfort to throw both the living room and kitchen space into one apartment, but the tenants are generally of a contrary opinion. The alternative is to magnify the kitchen and make the so-called “Parlour” very much smaller than is commonly the case. The need of a scullery is not always indispensable, but no doubt it is an advantage. The “wash-house,” as it was termed in the old Cottages, led out of the living or family room, and formed what would now pass as the kitchen, serving as a scullery also.
About the Parlour Cottage plan there is this to be said, that it does afford a benefit of an appreciable kind to a tenant when the chances of a “young man lodger” present themselves, and to secure such assistance towards the payment of the rent some people will put up with any amount of crowding in the rest of the house. This consideration must mainly belong to urban or suburban Cottages, and hardly need be taken into account in building agricultural ones.
The staircase in old-fashioned Cottages frequently led out of the big living room and went up behind the fireplace, in a quaint, though not always convenient, manner. Thus, the space devoted to a stairway in a separate lobby or “hall,” common to the villa type of Cottage plan, was avoided. The development of a passage hall is quite a modern invention, and sometimes it is far too ample and pretentious. If introduced at all on these lines, and cost precludes its being as big as it should be for convenient use, the entry is far better square rather than long or narrow, and the necessary space can be cheaply got by contriving an external porch. Whatever the scheme of plan, anything like a cramped entry, such as occur in some otherwise good Cottages, ought to be avoided. Every little house should present an air of commodiousness, and its interior must of course be screened from the intrusion of wind and rain. A timber internal lobby, cut out of the area of a big living room, is sufficient in most cases to exclude the draught. The stairway must be ample and straight enough for getting furniture up and down, though sufficient provision in this respect appears very frequently to have been overlooked; while the necessity of being able to decently remove the dead is never considered at all by many Cottage designers. Consequently it is by no means an uncommon circumstance to have recourse to window openings for this purpose, and even that alternative is not always available. No apology is needed for mentioning such requirements as these, and ample head room is absolutely essential for all staircases.
In every room the doors ought to be so placed that they shall not necessarily cause a direct draught every time they are opened. To avoid their clashing one against the other is not always an easy matter in a small place, but they should be capable of a little more convenient contrivance than is usual. Ledged doors, with Norfolk latches, are suitable enough for Cottages, and look better than thin common four-panel, foreign-made ones. Moulded architraves are by no means necessary; and windows too in such houses look best without them, the plaster being brought round with deep reveals, which can be easily obtained by placing the woodwork of the framing flush with the outside face of the walling, or by projecting it where tile hanging or rough cast is used. The By-Laws 11 hitherto generally have insisted on 4½-inch reveals on the outside of all buildings, but in many cases this arbitrary rule has more recently been conceded, and therefore one of the most pleasing characteristics of old Cottage building is rendered possible in the majority of cases. It is very desirable in contriving window openings to provide good wide and strong window boards, as they furnish useful spaces for pots of flowers and the like. Some provision should also be made for window curtains, or a space above the windows, in case tenants should insist upon having roller blinds, though running curtains are really much prettier, and finish off a room much more appropriately, besides being more easily worked and cleaned.
A picture rail fixed at the level of the head of the doors costs little, and saves the walls from being knocked about, besides providing a means of re-papering the lower parts of the rooms without having necessarily to do the whole surface. Papering helps to protect the plaster, and so is found preferable to distempering, and wears longer.
For sleeping rooms, obviously, the bed is the dominating factor of their arrangement, or it ought to be, which however it would appear is another matter, judging by how bedrooms are sometimes planned. If the fireplaces can be managed towards the corners of these apartments a gain is obtained, particularly in small dwellings, because by locating the chimney pieces in this fashion, more clear wall space is made available, either for a wardrobe or washstand. The toilet table generally occupies a position of course in front of the window. It is not a bad plan to contrive a specially wide window board for toilet purposes, and so spare the need of a table.
If a recess is provided for a child’s bed in the parents’ room, as is sometimes done, it ought to have a small window of its own away from the bed to avoid draught. In determining the amount of sleeping accommodation to be provided, the vexed question of the lodger has to be considered; and some owners of Cottage property, in order to prevent such a possibility, never give more than two bedrooms, which appears to be a mistake. The need of a fireplace in every sleeping room is reckoned by many as quite a matter of opinion, though in the absence of a fireplace ventilators must be inserted somewhere. Ventilators probably will be stopped up, and of course for that matter the register flap of a chimney might be kept shut, because people still entertain a foolish prejudice against fresh air, and quite ignore the fact that a man may live for days without food, though he could not exist without air for as many minutes. There is no better ventilator for a bedroom than a chimney flue, and it always is a great advantage to be able to have a fire. Often the grates put in bedrooms however, are too small to be of any practical use as fireplaces, and seeing that capital cast-iron combination fronts and grates with fire-clay lumps can now be cheaply obtained, no excuse exists for inserting trumpery inefficient makeshifts any longer.
The height of the rooms of a Cottage is a most important matter, and if needlessly tall the cost of the building is thereby materially increased. It is not so much the high pitch of a ceiling which makes a room conducive to health, because, unless inlets and outlet vents are provided to insure a constant change of vitiated atmosphere, the extra height above the door and window openings only becomes charged with foul air, and 12 retained there with no means of escape. Generally a living room of a Cottage should not be more than 9 feet high at the most, and the other apartments need not exceed 8 feet 6 inches; and some authorities think the minimum of 8 feet is sufficient. The top of at least one window in each room should be as near the ceiling level as possible, and the sash or casement made to open right up to the top of the opening.
If ventilating flues are introduced they are best put next the smoke flues to insure warmth for promoting the up-cast, and if outlets for ventilation are made into the smoke flues, first-rate valves must be inserted to prevent back currents of smoke coming into the rooms.
The difficulty of maintaining efficiency in working such contrivances renders any arrangement of this sort undesirable, and anyhow special ventilating flues necessarily add another item of expense. An air-brick high up in the wall with “hit and miss” box arrangement, or even a mere buffle screen, to prevent down-draught, insures a sufficient amount of fresh air. Better still, a wedge-shaped outlet-box in the middle of the ceiling, 9 inches long by 3 inches wide on its top edge, will answer all purposes, communicating direct into the roof. This is an old-fashioned contrivance, which is only applicable for the top floor rooms, but it has one merit—it cannot get out of order. Like the most expensive appliance procurable, it is of course liable to be stopped up or plastered over.
The provision of fixed wall-seats and side-tables in Cottages is of doubtful advantage, though such contrivances look attractive in plans. In old country-side taverns chimney-corner benches with high backs and draught wings no doubt give an exceedingly picturesque and homely effect; and so do the old-fashioned parlour dressers to be still seen in various parts of the country, but for workmen’s modern Cottages they are really not required. Tenants come and go bringing their own furniture, for which space has to be found, and they are very liable to cut and knock permanent fixtures and fitments about very badly.
The difficulty of planning model dwellings for shifting populations, so characteristic of present-day habits, is increased by the fact that the landlord has to guard against a certain class of tenant who will destroy almost anything which is capable of being removed; consequently the more plain and solid the finishing of workmen’s Cottages can be made, the better. Balusters to the stairs even, and wood skirtings to the rooms, run the risk of being appropriated for firewood.
Bay windows and ornamental wooden porches may be made very picturesque, and ingle-nooks add to appearances. They are however expensive, and tend to complicate the planning in a way which seems questionable for ordinary occupation, and are best regarded as exceptions for special cases and middle-class houses.
A far more important matter than any such contrivances is to insure ample air and sunlight. The success of every room depends more upon its windows and aspect. Next in order of consequence is the way in which its doors, windows and fire-places are set out with regard to the convenience and comfort of the whole. Squarish oblong apartments plan out best in this respect, and facilitate the best arrangement, which is 13 capable of much variety of treatment; the chief point in every case being to keep the fire-place of sitting-rooms as far removed from the door as possible.
The old deep-seated prejudice against the need of a bath dies hard, but in these days no home is complete without one, and every workman’s Cottage should be furnished with one. The best place for it is in the scullery or in a small enclosure leading out of that room. It should be arranged if possible so that the contrivance does not lend itself to any other purpose than a bath, and be so placed that the occasional or weekly tub may be enjoyed in front of the fire which heats the water. To save the cost of fuel and avoid the loss of space necessary to put the bath above the level of the floor, either in a special recess or under a table-top cover, the bath may with convenience be sunk in the scullery floor immediately in front of the cooking-stove hearth, or near a boiling copper, such as may be easily and cheaply heated. The top of the bath is made in the form of a detached flap, flush with the scullery floor, and is used for standing on as a draining-board on stepping out of the bath. At Bournville several Cottages are fitted with baths in this way, and have Combe’s combined scullery bath range, which has the merit of economising space as well as fuel (see Illustration Fig. 4, page 18). The heating or cooking part of the contrivance occupies a central position, with an oven on one side and a 12-gallon boiler on the other. Clothes may be boiled by it, and the bath is also heated from it. Where the bath is not sunk, a dressing space is formed by a hanging door hung flat against the wall when not in use, but so placed that by opening this at right angles it combines with the open door of the room, also set halfway open, thus giving, when clipped together, the needed moveable screen to complete the enclosure. The bath is put into a cupboard recess projecting into the adjacent apartment, back or front, as may be determined.
To carry off the steam a White’s exhaust is used, and thus all nuisance from the boiler and bath is obviated, though it is manifestly an additional gain to have a lobby with an outside door between the living-room and the scullery.
The patent adjustable tip-up bath lately introduced has its advantages, no doubt, but it possesses the appearance of being too complicated for cottagers’ use, and like a bathroom upstairs, seems more suitable for middle-class tenants.
The advantage of an outside pent shelter or working verandah at the back of a Cottage is very considerable in the country, and if it is partly screened by an outbuilding, such an arrangement makes an uncommonly good place in which to locate the washing copper, with a protected standing-room in front of it. All the year round such a contrivance gives the tenant a chance of keeping the Cottage clear of a great deal of mess, and the wife is thus able to wash and do an amount of dirty work outside the house. Country cottagers are accustomed to exposure, and in practice this open verandah has been found very useful and inexpensive to erect. It saves the need of a scullery and simplifies the plan.
With regard to materials, it may be well to add a few words in respect to their application, although something has already been stated on a previous page with 14 regard to the desirability of using what is common in each district where the work is situate.
Good colour cannot be obtained as a rule with the cheapest kind of brickwork, and when circumstances permit of nothing better, it has been found a good plan to lime-white walls thus built, instead of leaving the bricks in their naked ugliness. The whitewash helps too to keep out the weather, and the effect thus obtained is a decided improvement. Grey headers and brindled bricks make excellent walling and weather well. Sand-faced red bricks are liable to go soft in places and suffer from frost, though they are much nicer in appearance than pressed or wire-cut ones. If obtained from well-known yards there will not be much reason to complain. In any case, cream-coloured mortar, with a good wide weathered struck joint, should be employed. The custom of facing a building towards the road with a superior brick to that employed on the flank walls spoils its good effect, and should be avoided. “Fletton” bricks are only suitable for internal or covered-in walling, but they make excellent constructional work. Their even face gives a poor key to plastering, and this objection is got over either by hacking or employing stock bricks for every third course of work, which is the better mode to adopt.
Rough hard bricks can be employed with advantage where the walls are rough cast, though owing to their irregularity they somewhat increase the cost of the internal plastering, and make it difficult to keep the walling true. Those who affect quaintness might consider this a gain, as giving a degree of irregularity.
Whatever the brickwork, no tuck pointing is allowable, and in the majority of cases parti-coloured brickwork is too restless in effect, particularly for small buildings like Cottages. If thin bricks to the new gauge can be employed, the effect is greatly increased, and make an artistic gain.
By using hard bricks and “gauged” mortar, walls of one brick thick may be used for Cottages in sheltered positions, though without much increase of cost a hollow wall 11 inches thick can be had, thus guaranteeing a weather-tight wall. Vermin however are encouraged by cavities, and usually 14-inch walls—viz., a brick and a half thick, are best for the ground floor, with 9-inch work above. The latter can be tile hung or rough cast with pleasing effect, in which case a good bold verge projection is needed to give an oversailing appearance to the upper wall surface, and secure a shadow where it sits upon the wall below. This emphasis of horizontal lines is of the utmost importance for insuring pleasing proportions to Cottage buildings, the poetry of such compositions depending upon long, low and spreading lines.
The question of cills to all openings in Cottage work is one that has taxed the ingenuity of builders in all times. Teak will stand far better than poor stone, but brick on edge is too porous. Hard weathering stone is not cheap, but it is dependable for giving the best cills. Some use bull-nosed, salt glazed bricks over a stout slate or tile creasing in cement, or a flashing of lead will give a good drip and exclude driving rains.
Boulder or “snap” flints, with red brick quoins tailing into the former one course at a time, but not blocked out after the fashion of masonry, look unquestionably well, and black mortar suits the jointing of flints in such walling.
Random coursed stone walling with jambs and quoins of thin brick or tile look admirable, and nothing can be more suitable for Cottage work, where such materials can be had; and the smaller the sizes of the stones and the thinner the bricks the better, with here and there perhaps a bigger boulder stone to hold the whole together. Dressed 15 stone is too expensive for Cottage work, and seems out of character with it. Cob walling, properly built, is hard to excel.
The use of concrete opens up wider possibilities than ever, and now that its employment with enclosed iron ties has been so wonderfully developed under the term of Ferro Concrete, there can be no doubt as to its economy and structural advantage. It is fire-resisting, and is less likely naturally to induce fires than any more or less modified form of wood construction, but no buildings for occupation can be really described as fireproof. As to whether concrete may be used for inexpensive Cottage work will depend upon the materials of the district, such as gravel, stone chippings, clinkers, or clean ballast; while its artistic appearance depends upon the plasterer to give the work a surface with roughcast or floated facings, though shingles, or tiles or slates can of course be easily attached for weather proofing and colour. Strings or bands of red tiles incorporated in concrete, if judiciously managed, give relief and good effect.
For damp courses sheet bitumen felt is used, but for cheap reliable work slate and cement wants a lot of beating. Cheap makes of asphalte squeeze out, and with rough stone walling there must be no question as to the reliability of the damp course used. Portland cement-faced plinths are often very desirable to cob or rubble work to secure dryness, and a great deal will depend upon the use of concrete for the footings and over the areas of the floors. Ample space for free ventilation under all timber floors is essential, and air bricks must be inserted to insure cross currents. Where solid floors are employed they present many advantages, but wood-block flooring is more costly than joists and boarding. Euboelith is an excellent material, and as it saves screeding, is by no means expensive relatively, and it is warm, impervious to moisture, and fireproof.
Selenitic or Portland cement, in the proportion of one to five of a clean aggregate, makes excellent concrete as a basis for all such flooring, as well as foundations or under wood floor areas. Good stone lime concrete, if used in a comparatively large bulk, still holds its own, and unless the Selenitic lime or Portland cement is unquestionably of the best make, it is not wise to trust to a smaller amount of concrete which then only becomes provisionally allowable. A good wide spread of concrete is always of the utmost importance, and no risks can be run wisely in the matter of foundations. On the principle “out of sight out of mind,” many buildings are run up regardless of ultimate consequences which are always likely to happen if the footings are scamped.
The roofing of a Cottage is equally important to the footings, and naturally the simpler its construction the more weather-tight and inexpensive must it be. Sand-faced red-nibbed tiles nailed on rough weather boarding provides the gauge and cheapens the labour. If the angle of 45° is employed, hip and valley tiles can be had out of stock to course with the tiling of the slopes. A better appearance however is got by curving round the valleys with ordinary tiles, and in this way sweeter lines are obtained. A somewhat steeper pitch than the angle of 45° is a great advantage, materially improving the artistic effect externally when tiles are employed. Broseley tiles are excellent, but they are inclined to look hard and do not vegetate, which is objected to by some who look for soft effects and colours, imparted by time, only to be had by employing sand-faced tiles. Glazed tiles are apt to look garish and ugly.
Slates look best when they vary in size from eaves to ridge, getting less as they ascend, and in any case the smaller sizes should be used for little buildings, to keep in scale with the work generally. The soffits of projecting eaves are greatly improved by being plastered with a horizontal ceiling, suggesting the idea of an elementary cornice, or a 16 curved cove may be occasionally employed if it be a big one. The great point however is to have good wide eaves to give shadow and protect the walls from the weather, as already mentioned. Gutters are necessary for all eaves, but require skilful management to look well, and down-pipes demand skill in their contrivance. They should be projected from the face of the walls, so that their back surface may be easily painted. Gutters last longer if tarred inside, in lieu of painting with oil-colour.
When stone flag-paving is employed for Cottage approaches, it should be done in rough slabs by preference rather than in rubbed and squared stones, as the untooled slabs look more in keeping, and mean neat tile patternings are quite out of place. A good floor for a porch is made of slates set close together on edge, bedded in cement; or cobble-stones planned out to a simple pattern, with a plain stone curb, are suitable and clean-looking. For sculleries and yards granolithic floating makes a good floor, and the skirting can be turned up three inches against the walls in the same material, the floor being laid to a fall for flushing. In Sussex paving bricks are much used, but they are not hard enough to wear equally well. Euboelith, already referred to, is worth a trial.
The “week-end Cottage” as it is called, belongs perhaps rather more to the bungalow house than the villa, and yet the intention is not entirely the same as the bungalow. A good many people of late years have purchased old Cottages in the country for week-end visits, and they have more or less adapted them to meet their requirements; but at best such accommodation is scarcely calculated to give the maximum of comfortable enjoyment. They at best only afford weekly trips very much of the character of pic-nic outings, well enough for a few times and while the fine weather lasts, but in the long run country journeys, accompanied by considerable inconvenience incidental to this style of Cottage, become trips of duty rather than pleasure, particularly when the days get short or the season is wet. Such old Cottages are frequently situated away from the high road, and the cart tracks over the fields lead to a low-lying spot, where the weekend home suffers from damp, while such places are associated with by no means the best sanitary arrangements. This is not an over-drawn description of the actuality of things, and so people hesitate about embarking upon purchases of this kind, in which hesitation they display some forethought and good reason. The great want in planning a “week-end Cottage” is best realized by a recognition of the difficulty of service. At home, whatever the servant problem may be, as a rule the house work is more or less successfully managed and the meals are served appropriately. In the “week-end Cottage” however one domestic at most has to be depended on, and in the majority of instances the service has to be done by the caretaker or a handy resident villager, who by arrangement perhaps looks after the place at other times. A certain amount of roughing it has a charm and makes a change calculated to do most people good, but there is no reason why the maximum of discomfort should be encouraged and not be reasonably provided against. The idea therefore to be embodied in making a comfortable arrangement for a “week-end Cottage,” is to plan a large family room for living in and receiving visitors, &c. Contrived out of it should be a meal room, which may be divided off by a curtain or door, and this meal room should also have an approach direct from the kitchen through a small ventilated lobby, sufficient to isolate culinary smells as much as possible. Thus the meals may be laid ready without continually interfering with what is going on in the family room, and without the maid-of-all-work being too much in evidence. A 17 verandah at the end of the family room will provide a convenient place for smoking outside, allowing for a little additional independence also or extra enjoyment in a variety of ways on many occasions, such as wet days or during summer evenings.
The accompanying plans (Fig. 3) show the contrivance of such a Cottage, with the bed and bath rooms on the first floor, the whole arrangement being practically managed within the confines of a square or cube plan.
The designs with which this volume is illustrated exhibit a considerable variety of plan, but they are not arranged with any precise intention of showing what may be called the genesis of Cottage arrangement, commencing with the single room shanty or Scottish “But-and-Ben” dwelling, with its bed recess, through different degrees up to the more ambitious parloured home, which now forms perhaps the most popular type of house among working people throughout the countryside, as well as in towns and suburbs. The illustrations however may fairly be said to comprise examples of the several gradations of economic contrivance, which represent practically all the main essentials necessary in working out either the single Cottage or the group, or row of them. It is of course unusual to build one single detached Cottage, for the simple reason that a pair come cheaper. The isolated Cottage is erected as an entrance lodge, or for a gardener or gamekeeper’s house, and for this purpose the third ground floor room seems perhaps more desirable, though it is not invariably adopted. Some of the designs illustrated show small houses for professional and middle-class residents.
Fig. 4 illustrates the plan, elevations, and section, from the designs of Mr. W. Alex. Harvey, Architect to the estate, of a pair of Cottages erected on the Cadbury model village at Bourneville, near Birmingham, and the plan shows not only the arrangement of the sunk bath in the scullery, referred to on page 13, but also the use of a large living room, fitted with an ingle enclosure to the fireplace, and having the staircase rising out of the same room. Besides the larder, there is a tool place, closet, and an external coal place. Upstairs three bedrooms are provided. The bulkhead space in the front room over the stairs has a linen cupboard over it.
The semi-detached Cottages from Waverton, Cheshire, on the Eaton Estate (Plate IX.), represent the simplest form of five-roomed houses, and are instances showing no loss of space whatever in lobbies and vestibules. The entrance is at the rear by way of an open porch wherein the copper is housed, and the stairway rises out of the living room, which measures 16 ft. by 12 ft. The pantry serves for a variety of purposes, and so is rather large. There are three bedrooms, and if a single Cottage alone were required, it would be quite easy to build one of this pair. The entrance lodge, illustrated from the design of Mr. Norman Shaw (Plate XVII.), has two entrances, but otherwise the plan mainly differs in its internal economy by the introduction of the intermediate lobby, dividing the living room from the scullery kitchen, out of which the staircase starts. The lodge at Wraysbury (Plate XXXII.) shows a further development because, in addition to the kitchen, there is a scullery; the living room however retains its connection with the staircase. The spacious porch becomes almost a verandah, and is intended for sheltering enquirers at the lodge-keeper’s door. This and the garden Cottage at East Grinstead (Plate XXXI.) are based on the rectilinear or cube plan, with the central stack and the roof hipped back at the four corners. A gable is introduced towards the back and front to vary the grouping in the last case, and at Wraysbury dormers are introduced on three sides. The East Grinstead Cottage has the third bedroom on the ground floor, and a regular entrance-hall is managed, as well as a bath room upstairs. The scullery is separated from the kitchen by a 19 lobby. The coachman’s Cottage, Cavenham, Suffolk (Plate XXVI.), has a living room, kitchen, and the parlour with a staircase, of which a distinctive feature is made in the design externally. In this house the central chimney-stack is preserved, though the roofing is managed quite differently from either of the other Cottages just named. The bailiff’s Cottage at Westcott, Surrey (Plate XXII.), is another example of square planning, in which a conical roof and one big chimney makes the leading feature, the angle bays being introduced to give ready supervision in all directions. The agent’s office of course is an extra provision, and the front entry is intended mainly for his use, the door for the bailiff being placed at the side. As a sample of compact planning this house may be mentioned, with the further explanation that one bedroom over the office and the E.C. off the landing are used by the agent during his weekly attendance for the management of the property. The Acton County School caretaker’s Cottage (Plate XXV.), designed for a narrow site, has the approach road to the school alongside of the entrance front; the canted bay windows being intended for overlooking this roadway. The entry hall is rather large to accommodate enquirers calling out of school hours when the office would be closed.20
These last-named detached Cottages present individual departures from the more elementary ideal of simple tenements, such as those which are for the most part grouped into blocks of three or more dwellings, on account of greater economical construction, and because more than one family has to be housed. The row of four stone-built Cottages shown from Broadway, Worcester (Plate II.), with living room, scullery, pantry, and three bedrooms, shows an instance in point, the stairways facing the front door very compactly. Almost identically the same arrangement is seen in the brick and half-timber row of labourers’ Cottages from Broadlands, Kent (Plate VI.), a characteristic specimen of the charming work of the late W. Eden Nesfield. The various groups of three, five, and more Cottages given from Port Sunlight, Cheshire, are diversifications on the same rigidly economical lines of planning, with the advantageous addition of a bath room to each house. It may here be incidentally remarked that the block of five Cottages from Cheshire, and the block of four already referred to from Broadway, have the intermediate gables and first floor walls between the end projecting houses treated in rough cast, which always looks best when enclosed, as it is in these cases, by structural colour either in masonry, brick, or tile. The row of Cottages from Elmesthorpe, Leicester, and the similar proposed pair designed for a site in Worcestershire (Plates VII. and VIII.), have, in addition to the living room and kitchen, a projecting enclosed porch giving a notable importance externally. The semi-detached pair by the same architect have in addition large bay windows combined with the porches, and the third bedroom is on the ground level. The walls are all rough cast, and thatch covers the roofs. The entrance lodge at Leamington (Plate XXI.) gives all the accommodation on one floor, and a central chimney-stack brings all the fireplaces together; but the roofs are grouped with gables in picturesque diversity. The Dormay Cottages, Overbury, Worcester (Plate XII.), have parlours and staircase walls, as well as internal porches. The detached Cottage for a gardener, at Great Warley, Essex (Plate XXXI.), differs in that the staircase goes up out of the living room, while the porch leads directly into both living room and parlour. All three bedrooms in this house have fireplaces. We do not propose to go through each of the examples illustrated, which differ merely in minor matters, the most notable part of their variations belonging to their outside treatment, as, for instance, the contrast afforded by the cruciform roofing seen in the middle-class Cottage at Gough Park, Enfield (Plate XLVIII.), and the equally squarely-contrived plans and conical roofs from East Grinstead and Wraysbury before alluded to.
The word “Cottage” is a relative people with fairly extensive homes of no small pretensions call their places Cottages. Excluding such Cottages as these, we have houses of the more modest sort, which are to all intents and purposes Cottages, both in plan and exterior, as differentiated from villas or even bungalows. Such Cottages, no doubt, may be occupied by well-to-do people with some ideas of social amenities, without altering their Cottage character. Besides these, there are buildings of the Cottage type devoted to a variety of purposes which properly are included among our drawings. Of these we may mention the Cottage Home for Nurses at Heathfield, Sussex (Plate XL.), and the Cottage Isolation Home, as well as the Cottage Hospital at Chalfont, Bucks (Plates XLI., XLV.), all designed in the same simple style of work, depending upon grouping rather than elaboration of detail.
Of the middle-class Cottage home two or three examples are given; one a compact suburban Cottage at Bedford Park (Plate XXXVIII.), in which an isolating lobby 21 shuts off the kitchen department, so very desirable in all small houses. The hall is comparatively roomy, and the staircase is out of sight from the front door. The Cottages at Northolt (Plate XXXIX.) have bays so arranged that the maximum sunshine is obtained; and the central staircase is made much of as an important part of a house. The Cottage at Medmenham (Plate XXXIX.) has three “reception rooms” and five bedrooms, the hall taking the form of a transverse passage, economical in space. The house at Royston (Plate XLII.) differs from the last in having a square and spacious hall and larger landing, and the Doctor’s Cottage, near Mansfield, Notts (Plate XLVI.), is a smaller and more compact example, with bays to the parlours running up through two floors, and finishing under the broad eaves. The seaside Cottage from the Isle of Wight (Plate XLVII.) shows a more ambitious hall living-room.
Plate I.: Pair of Cottages, Knebworth.—Mr. E. L. Lutyens, Architect. This building is entirely erected in thin red bricks, with tiled roofs, and the Cottages are exactly similar in their arrangement, which is simple and compact.
Plate II.: Cottages at Broadway, Worcestershire.—Mr. E. Guy Dawber, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. These Cottages are built of local stone, with the upper part of the central portion rough cast, stone slate roof, and brick chimneys—the excuse for the use of brick in this case being that the houses are in the vale, off the hills, and brick is used as much as the stone of the neighbourhood.
Plate III.: A Group of Three Cottages, Port Sunlight, Cheshire.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. All three of these Cottages are identical in their accommodation, but they are so grouped as to give a largeness of external treatment. They each have a large living room, with kitchener and cupboard by the side. A good scullery and copper boiler in a recess, with a bath-room opening out of the scullery, and a larder. Under the stairs is another cupboard, and a lobby to the entrances keeps the rooms cosy. There are three bedrooms upstairs, and a roof light over the stairways, and ventilation. The walls are in red handmade bricks, and stone is used for the central part and doorways. The upper walls are hung with red tiles, as shown, and oak half timber occupies the gable in front. Each house has a paved yard enclosed by walls, and a W.C., with coal-place attached.
Plate IV.: Group of Five Cottages, Port Sunlight, Cheshire.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. These Cottages are for workpeople employed at the Sunlight Works of Messrs. Lever Bros., and were built in red brick, with tile-hung walling to the first floor of the end houses, the three intermediate ones being rough-cast in lime stucco left its own natural cream colour. The curve on the plan is just sufficient to enhance the picturesque appearance by giving a differing face to the three gables, and the upper walls overhang to give a shadow emphasizing the horizontal line. The doorways are grouped, and have teak hoods projecting on wood brackets. The central house has a square bay to the living room and an oriel bay above. Each Cottage has otherwise in all respects the same accommodation, with enclosed yards and backway doors, a W.C., and coal outhouse. The living rooms have kitcheners, and lobby porches keep the dwellings warm. There is a bathroom out of the scullery, and a copper boiler recessed conveniently, and a good larder. Each house has dressers and cupboards, and three bedrooms opening on a top-lighted and ventilated landing.23
Plate V.: Block of Nine Cottages, Port Sunlight.—Messrs. William & Segar Owen, Architects. This group of Cottages is opposite the new Church which is now in course of erection. The plans represent the usual Sunlight Cottage, with one living room, a scullery, pantry, and bathroom on the ground floor; with three bedrooms on the first floor. The whole of the timber work throughout the exterior elevation is of oak, the window dressings being local red sandstone. The roof is tiled with Broseley tiles. The main object in the designs has been to give a truly Cottage feeling to the group, rather than the production of a villa treatment.
Plate VI.: Block of Four Cottages, Broadlands, Kent.—This characteristic group is from the design of the late W. Eden Nesfield, and the work is shown by an autograph drawing by the Architect, lent for the purpose of illustration by Mr. E. J. May. The plan is given with the view, so that their arrangements are clearly represented.
Plate VII.: Pair of Proposed Cottages, Madresfield Court, Worcestershire. Mr. C. F. A. Voysey, Architect. This pair of Cottages were designed for a site at Madresfield Court, to be built in brick rough-casted, and the roofs covered with thatch.
Plate VIII.: Cottages at Elmesthorpe, Leicester.—Mr. C. F. A. Voysey, Architect.—This row of six Cottages were built of brick, finished in cement rough-cast, and roofed with thatch. Each house has a living room, kitchen, E.C., and coal place, and three bedrooms upstairs.
Plate IX.: Pair of Cottages, Waverton.—Messrs. John Douglas & Minshull, Architects. This pair of labourers’ Cottages was built as typical of the kind of Cottages that are to be found in the villages in several parts of the Eaton Estate. Though less attractive in appearance than the “black and white” Cottages, they have the advantage of much less “maintenance” than the timber treatment involves; the aim having been to reduce this recurring charge to a minimum. The materials employed were Ruabon (“wire-cut”) bricks, with mullioned windows of the same material, and metal casements satisfactorily secure this, very little painting being thus required. Llanberis green slates of small size have been used in the roofs.
Plate X.: Pair of Cottages, Abergele.—Messrs. William & Segar Owen, Architects. The ground floor of these is of local Welsh stone; the oak timber work throughout is English; the roof is of Ruabon tiles. These Cottages, which stand on a plateau, were erected by the workmen on Colonel Sandbach’s estate.
Plate XI.: Courtstile Cottages, Cranbrook, Kent.—Mr. Mervyn Macartney, Architect. These Cottages are on the estate of Angley Park. They are built of red brick, and all external woodwork is of oak, with quarry glazing to the windows; old tiles were used for the roof. Builders were Messrs. F. Marshall & Sons, Cranbrook.
Plate XII.: Dormay Cottages, and Plate XXI.: The Lodge, Overbury, Worcester.—Mr. Ernest Newton, Architect. These are both built of local rubble stone, squared more or less, and built with thickish mortar joints brushed off; there is no pointing; the roofs are of stone slates, dormers of oak. The Cottages stand at the end of the village street, which is a gently sloping hill. The lodge is at a back entrance into the park. The gates are purposely put on the park side of the lodge, with a road leading up to them, first because the main road is very narrow there, and secondly, 24 to prevent the piers, &c. dwarfing the lodge. Overbury is a pretty old village, with a charming church, partly Norman and partly XIVth Century, and there are several old XVIIth and XVIIIth Century Cottages and small houses scattered about. Everything is built of stone.
Plate XIII.: Three Cottages, Shackleford, Surrey.—Mr. Henry Tanner, Jun., is the Architect of this block of Cottages, and the plans given with the view show the accommodation provided.
Plates XIV. and XV.: Cottages at Paddockhurst, Sussex.—Mr. Aston Webb, r.a., Architect. These Cottages, erected in red brick and rough-cast, with tiled roof, form part of a series of buildings erected in this picturesque Sussex village. The plans given with the views show the detail of their internal planning.
Plates XVI. and XVII.: Cottages at Eaton Hastings, Berks.—Messrs. Ernest George & Yeates, Architects. These are selected from the various Cottages forming the village of Eaton Hastings and Buscot, where the Architects have also built parish room, pump house, smithy, and shops. The houses are all of the local stone-walling, with brick linings and Taynton stone dressings, and roofed with stone of the district.
Plate XVIII.: Entrance Lodge.—This Entrance Lodge, from the design of Mr. R. Norman Shaw, r.a., consists of five rooms and pretty porch. It was built in red bricks with tile hangings, and roofs treated in an eminently simple and characteristic way, with parts oversiding.
Plate XIX.: Lodge, Broadlands, Kent.—This well-known drawing, by the late W. Eden Nesfield, shows a design carried out by this capable Architect several years ago in his admirable style of domestic work, and it is a very interesting example of his design and draughtsmanship. Lent by Mr. E. J. May for this volume.
Plate XX.: Entrance Lodge, Stonelands, Sussex.—Mr. Edward W. Mountford, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. The lower walls of this lodge are built in gray sandstone quarried on the estate, and the upper storey is hung with weather tiling. The gables are in pitch pine half-timbering, coated with Stockholm tar, the panels being in rough-cast. Brown Broseley tiles are used for the roof. The external walls are hollow. The site is on the top of a hill, from whence the drive descends in a valley, rising again to the house, which occupies a prominent position on the opposite hill slope.
Plate XXI.: The Lodge, Overbury, Worcester.—Mr. Ernest Newton, Architect. (See Description of Plate XII.)
Plate XXII.: Lodge at Leamington.—Mr. R. A. Briggs, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This lodge is built at the entrance of the property of “Cranford House,” Leamington. The building is only on one floor, and the rooms are arranged so that the flues to all of the fire-places should be carried into only one chimney-stack, for purposes of economy. The walls were built of local bricks, and the roofs were tiled with Broseley tiles. The woodwork externally to the barge-boards, half-timber work, doors and windows, &c., was of teak oiled; the woodwork, except at the windows, was painted white.
Plate XXIII.: The Bailiff’s Cottage and Office, Rookery Estate, Westcott, Surrey.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This building occupies a most 25 picturesque site at the entrance to a beautifully-wooded estate, and it stands on the banks of a stream at the rear, there being a bridge for the high road to the right. The slope of the land necessitated a basement to the back part, and this is reached by external steps, shown on the ground plan, leading to wood-shed and store-places, the walls screening the administrative parts, thus making the building presentable from all sides; the projecting angle set-bays being provided to give outlooks in all directions to control the approaches. The office, with its front entrance, is planned for the secretary’s occasional use, with the bedroom over. The bailiff has a separate entrance, and the remainder of the Cottage is used by him. The lower walling is in red sand-faced bricks, and local red tiles for the roofing, the upper walls being rough-cast; the woodwork is finished in white colour. Earth closets are used. The interior is picturesquely treated and very compactly planned, for the rooms are large and the building is solidly constructed. The work below the ground, owing to the site, was considerable.
Plate XXIV.: Lodge, Caythorpe Court, Lincolnshire.—Mr. Reginald Blomfield, m.a., Architect. This lodge was converted out of an old Cottage. The materials used were Ancaster stone and Collyweston slate. Builders, Messrs. Cubitt & Co.
Plate XXV.: Entrance Lodge at Marlow.—Mr. R. A. Briggs, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This lodge has been erected to the house, known as “Doörnfontein,” on the banks of the River Thames, at Quarry Woods, Marlow. The walls to the ground floor were faced externally with red bricks, those to the first floor being rough-cast. The roofs to the main building were tiled with local red hand-made tiles, the “onion” fleche to the turret being covered with copper. The roofs to the porch and bay window were covered with lead. The whole of the woodwork was painted white, except the outside doors, which were painted green.
Plate XXVI.: Caretaker’s Cottage, Acton County School.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. The sketch shows the front view, and below it are the plans, three elevations, and a section, clearly illustrating the compact arrangement, which comprises a proposed Cottage with a large parlour, kitchen, scullery, larder, pantry, coals place, &c.; and a good roomy entry, made more than usually ample in case of enquirers calling when the school buildings are not in use. The bays at the corners are intended to give good supervision, as the site is at the entrance to the playing fields, and it is long and narrow, consequently in contriving this plan it had to be of corresponding proportions. On the first floor are three bedrooms and a bathroom, also two good cupboards. The front gable is designed for tile-hanging, and has a projecting oriel. All the bedrooms have fireplaces, but there is only one chimney. The lower walls to be in red brick, rough-cast upper surfaces, and tiled roof.
Plate XXVII.: Coachman’s Cottage, Cavenham Hall, Suffolk.—Mr. A. N. Prentice, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This Cottage is provided with water and electric light from the stables. The roof was thatched with reeds grown on the estate, by an old thatcher whose services were fortunately obtained in the neighbourhood. Good thatchers are now becoming very scarce. He performed the whole job with the aid of his son, and he is responsible for the curious shape of the gable top. The thatch is about 15 inches thick, and is bound down with heavy cord to wood fillets. The other materials used were oak half-timbering and local red bricks, and the upper parts of the walls were finished in plaster on a cement backing.26
Plate XXVIII.: Whitewell Lodge, Angley Park, Cranbrook.—Mr. Mervyn Macartney, Architect. The bailiff occupies this building, and has an office on one side of archway, the house being on the other. All the external woodwork is of teak. The roof is covered with green Westmoreland slating; the slates diminishing in size towards the ridge. Local red bricks were employed for the general walling. The pavement in archway is of granite sets in patterns. The Builders were Messrs. F. Marshall & Sons, Cranbrook.
Plate XXIX.: Gardener’s Cottage, Forest Row, Sussex.—Mr. W. Henry White, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This Cottage was erected at Forest Row, Sussex, upon enclosed grounds, overlooking a wide expanse of common land. The ground floor storey is built with 11¼ inch hollow walls of local red bricks. The first floor storey is enclosed with 9 inch brick walls faced with half-timber work, treated with Stockholm tar; the spaces being filled in with plaster work, finished a creamy white tint. All other outside woodwork is painted white. The accommodation consists of a parlour, with ingle nook and bay window; kitchen, with recessed fireplace and bay, as shown by the plan; scullery, with larder, coals, earth closet, and back entrance. The entrance and staircase are roomy. On the chamber floor there are three bedrooms and space for boxes.
Plate XXX.: Cottages, Pulford Drive, Eaton Estate.—Messrs. John Douglas & Minshull, Architects. These Cottages were built within a short distance of Eaton Hall. One of the many instances of the “nogging,” or “black and white” work, carried out on the Duke of Westminster’s Cheshire estate, to perpetuate the character of the old timber-framed buildings found throughout this county. In these Cottages the framing starts from a stone plinth at the ground level. It is all of oak with brick backing, the panels filled with Portland cement, with scoured face and whitened. The roof is covered with warm-coloured brown tiles.
Plate XXXI.: Gate Lodge, Cavenham Hall, Suffolk.—Mr. Andrew N. Prentice, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. The main idea in designing this gate lodge was to keep it in harmony with the style of the Georgian mansion to which it is in close proximity. High roofs and chimneys and heavy wooden cornices being the principal features. The work was finished in the best manner throughout. The materials used were local 2 inch red facing bricks, Broseley sand-faced tiles for roofing, deal cornice and posts, and window frames painted white. The gate pillars are built of art brick, with local stone cornice and coping; and the gates of English oak, with wrought iron filling in. The water supply and electric lighting is also obtained from the Hall.
Plate XXXII.: Gardener’s Cottage, Great Warley, Essex.—Mr. E. Guy Dawber, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This house is built of brick and red tiles, white wood casements, etc. The bricks are as they come from the kiln, with the flare ends of all shades of greys and blues.
Plate XXXIII.: Lodge at Wraysbury.—Mr. T. E. Collcutt, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This lodge is built of red brick and tile.
Plate XXXIV.: Lodge and Gates, Eaton.—This rich piece of lodge work, erected in stone, with the handsome wrought iron entrance gates, were built from the designs of Messrs. John Douglas & Minshull, at Eaton, and form part of a series carried out on the estate by the same Architects.27
Plate XXXV.: Entrance Lodges at Toddington, Gloucestershire.—Mr. E. J. May, Architect. These lodges are proposed to be built at the principal entrance to the park, and will be seen from a distance at the end of a long, straight level part of the drive. Local stone to be used for the walls, and stone tiles for the roofs.
Plate XXXVI.: Lodge at East Grinstead.—Mr. T. E. Collcutt, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This Cottage is erected in local stone, with stone slates for the roof.
Plate XXXVII.: Lodge, Oakfield, Mortimer.—Mr. Leonard Stokes, Architect. The verandah in this design makes a notable feature in a convenient and simple lodge. The plan illustrates the arrangement.
Plate XXXVIII.: A Suburban Cottage at Bedford Park. Mr. Maurice B. Adams, Architect. This detached middle-class Cottage residence, known as “Prior’s Garth,” Priory Road, is so planned that the amenities of refined requirements are made possible within a strictly limited area of building. With this object the kitchen is isolated by a ventilated lobby from the hall, which for so small a house is spacious and roomy. The staircase is out of sight of the front door, which is a great advantage, and no one when calling can see into the building from outside. The parlours are ample rooms, the recessing of the fireplace in the dining room adding to its size; while the alcoves give space for a piano or other large piece of furniture. The fireplaces in the bedrooms, being contrived in the corners, give additional wall space for wardrobes, and the like. The building faces east and west, with a good garden at the rear. The walls are faced with red brick, and red sand-faced Broseley tiles are used for the roof. The woodwork is painted white, the balcony is done in teak. The simplicity of the treatment adopted is intentional, but the work is solid and good.
Plate XXXIX.: Cottages at Medmenham and Northolt.—Mr. Arnold Mitchell, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. The small Cottage at Medmenham is built of local red brick and tiles; the latter hand-made on the roofs, and therefore weathering a rich dark colour. The brightest pressed tiles are used in the wall-hanging to the first floor throughout. Three good sitting rooms and five bedrooms form the accommodation, and the house works out at 8d. per cubic foot measured from the bottom of footings to half-way up the roof, the simplicity of roofing and the compactness of the planning making it a cheap house to build. The materials employed for the Cottage at Northolt were hand-made tiles for the roofs, multi-coloured local bricks for the walls, with a plain smooth white plaster frieze. The treatment adopted gives an effective result. The accommodation consists of two sitting rooms, a good picturesque staircase, and five bedrooms. The plan is peculiar, and suited to a site where extensive all-round views are obtained. The cost is 9d. per cubic foot, measured from the bottom of footings to half-way up the roof.
Plate XL.: Nurse’s Cottage, Heathfield, Sussex.—Mr. Geoffry Lucas, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. The materials for the above Cottage, for the use of the parish nurse, were red brick walls, tiled roof, wood sashes and frames, and weather-boarding in the gables. The accommodation consists of waiting lobby, sitting room, kitchen, scullery, &c., three bedrooms, hanging-closet, and box-store upstairs.
Plate XLI.: Cottage Isolation Home, Chalfont.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.l.b.a., Architect. This is an exceedingly compact and economical building, costing (heating 28 and all) only just over £1,000, with a furnace in the basement. There are two wards, one for men and one for women; and each sex has an isolation room for severe cases, with padded rooms for extreme patients; there are two padded rooms. The building is known as the “Dearmer Home,” on account of the foundress. There is a central room for the nurse, giving full control of all the departments. A dispensary, with a sink, is provided for the surgeon’s use on emergency. The upper floor provides a kitchen, scullery, and closet, with two bedrooms, one being for the nurse not on duty. There is a staff closet on the ground floor, and one for each ward. The walling is in red brick, the upper parts being tile hung, and a rough cast gable in the midst. The effect of the whole depends upon picturesqueness of grouping, but the detail necessarily is extremely simple. All the rooms have fresh air inlet flues.
Plate XLII.: House at Royston.—Mr. John Belcher, a.r.a., Architect. This small house is built in red bricks, with overhanging tiles and a tiled roof; the entrance porch being carried out in oak. Internally the hall was panelled, and the other rooms architecturally treated in plaster. A small formal garden was laid out in the rear.
Plate XLIII.: Semi-Detached Cottages, Byfleet, Surrey.—Messrs. Niven & Wigglesworth, Architects. These houses comprise two sitting rooms, with kitchen and offices. Four bedrooms, and a dressing room and bath room upstairs. The walls are brick built, rough-casted over, and tiled roofing.
Plate XLIV.: Lodge, Forty Hill, Enfield.—Mr. Sydney Cranfield, a.r.i.b.a., Architect. This lodge was designed to replace an old building, situate near the entrance gates of Forty Hill, Enfield. The rooms are arranged with a south aspect, the living room windows overlooking the drive. The timber work is to be in oak, and the roof covered with hand-made tiles.
Plate XLV.: Cottage Hospital, Chalfont St. Peter’s, Bucks.—Mr. Maurice B. Adams, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This building, known as the “Green Home” in memory of the donor, provides accommodation for twenty-four inmates. It has all the conveniences of an up-to-date establishment, and is planned to secure the maximum amount of sunshine. The front seen in the view faces east, so that the dining room and day room look westward. These two rooms can be thrown into one by folding doors. The kitchen yard is towards the N.E., and there is a good oil-room, as lamps have to be used. There is a service hatch between the kitchen and the refectory. Visitors cannot see into the hospital when waiting in the hall, and the matron’s room is to the left-hand on entering for seeing callers. The boot-room extends by the side of the bathrooms and lavatory, there being a patients’ garden entrance beyond, with an isolated convenience-place, and room adjoining for patients’ boxes. The baths stand out, away from the walls, so that the nurses may attend to the patients at any moment. A duty-room for a night nurse is located between the two dormitories; these face the south. There are three bedrooms upstairs for the staff, and a bathroom, a W.C., and linen-room. The walls are in red sand-faced bricks of local make, and red tiles for the roofs, with brighter and shaped ones for the wall-hanging on 9-inch brick walls. The gables are done in plaster. Stone is sparingly used next the entrance, and quarry-glazing is employed for the staircase window and upper lights to the windows.
Plate XLVI.: Doctor’s Cottage, Mansfield, Notts.—Messrs. Bateman and 29 Bateman, Architects. This small house has been built at Skegby, near Mansfield, for a medical officer to a colliery whose surgery is away from his residence. The walls are faced with old bricks, and the roofs are covered with old tiles, bedded solid and pointed. The front entrance is of red Mansfield stone, and the eaves cornice of canvass plaster. The internal finishings, of necessity, are very simple and economical. Mr. G. Boot, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, was the builder.
Plate XLVII.: Seaside Cottage, Cowes, Isle of Wight.—Mr. George Sherrin, f.r.i.b.a., Architect. This middle-class Cottage is built of brick, with hollow walls, and has a tiled roof. It is perfectly plain. It is situated in an interesting part of the island on the Egypt Estate, the site sloping up at the back, and well surrounded with trees.
Plate XLVIII.: Cottage, Gough Park, Enfield.—Mr. Sydney Cranfield, a.r.i.b.a., Architect. This small house is built in red brick angles, and finished with rough cast. The fireplaces are arranged on internal walls, and the disposition of the rooms was suggested by the nature of the site.
Plate XLIX.: Pair of Cottages, Byfleet, Surrey.—Messrs. Niven & Wigglesworth, Architects. These two Cottages have each a parlour and three bedrooms, with fireplaces. The coal-places and E.C. are contrived within the limits of the external walls. These are of brick and rough cast, with tile hanging partly, and tiled roof.
Plate L.: Soot Pray, Worplesdon.—This was originally an old farm house, and has been added to and converted into a large Cottage residence from the plans of Mr. Leonard Stokes, f.r.i.b.a.
W. KNOTT, 26, BROOKE STREET,
43. Semi-Detached Cottages, Byfleet, Surrey
text has Byfleet. Surrey with . for ,
“the rural sounds of languid nature”
[William Cowper, “The Task”:
Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature. ]
Local By-Laws are often found to be most arbitrary and unsuitable. . . . about a variety of things which are not only in themselves doubtful expedients, but which under certain circumstances become either radically wrong or positively absurd
[How I wish he had cited some specific examples, so I would know whether I ought to agree with him or not!]
must not last longer than twenty-four hours.
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it is never desirable to place a house directly north and south, or some of the rooms will get no sun at all
[At first glance this seems silly. When your house is no larger than 2x2 in plan, all rooms are corner rooms, so at least one side must get sunlight in the course of the day. But that only applies to free-standing houses. If a line of cottages runs due east-west, half of the rooms will have only a northern exposure.]
the necessity of being able to decently remove the dead is never considered at all by many Cottage designers
[It would not have occurred to me as an essential design point, either.]
Euboelith is an excellent material
[But evidently not one that caught on, judging by the extremely small number of results when I looked it up. It seems to be a brand name; another is “Segalith”.]
The accompanying plans (Fig. 3)
[Note the upstairs bathroom, marking this as a Middle-Class Cottage. The working classes have to make do with the expanded scullery described earlier.]
Many Plates mentioned in this section are misnumbered by one. Those numbered XII and below, or XXXVIII and above, are correct as printed. For the ones in between—“Plate XVII” through “Plate XXXII”—add one to the printed number. (Or just click on the links and let me do the work for you.) Worse, “Plate XXXI” in successive paragraphs refers to two different sets of pictures. The first time around he means Plate XXXVI; the second is the expected XXXII.
It is of course unusual to build one single detached Cottage
[In Britain, at least. In the US, “detached cottage” is redundant; if it isn’t detached, it isn’t a cottage.]
The isolated Cottage is more than often erected as an entrance lodge
[Either “more often” or “more often than not” would have made more sense. Or, if he really did mean “more than often”, that would be “usually” or “almost always”.]
[Illustration] Fig. 4.
[This illustration had to be printed on the following page, as there wasn’t room. I’ve moved it to its logical position in the text.]
no loss of space whatever in lobbies and vestibules
[Close study of Plate IX reveals that this space-saving is achieved by having no front door. Presumably the inhabitants are accustomed to using the service entrance, so they won’t ask why they have to go all the way around the house to get to their front garden.]
the garden Cottage at East Grinstead (Plate XXXI.)
[He means the lodge, Plate XXXVI. The “Plate XXXI” discussed in the next paragraph is Plate XXXII.]
The word “Cottage” is a relative one, some people with fairly extensive homes of no small pretensions
comma splice unchanged
[Looking at you, Newport.]
Cottages at Northolt (Plate XXXIX.) . . . . The Cottage at Medmenham (Plate XXXIX.)
[Not a mistake: Plate XXXIX shows two different buildings.]
All Plates include the caption “Photo Litho. Sprague & Co Ltd. London.”
Plate IV ... The curve on the plan is just sufficient to enhance the picturesque appearance
[Also just sufficient to make me queasy looking at the floor plan. I can only hope it did not have the same effect on the inhabitants.]
Plate X ... Messrs. William & Segar Owen
[The word “Messrs.” was anomalously printed in Small Capitals. I have changed it for consistency.]
Plates XII and XXI ... The gates are purposely put on the park side of the lodge
[That is, the gates are at the far end of the lodge, rather than the side nearest the main road.]
[Illustration] Plate XVII
[Is it just me, or . . . do the two views seem to belong to an entirely different building than the one represented in the floor plans?]
[Illustration] Plate XVIII
[Betcha those chimneys smoke like anything when the wind is in the wrong quarter.]
Plate XXV ... the house, known as “Doörnfontein”
[Named by the same people who thought that “Häagen Dazs” sounded plausible? The original—in South Africa—is spelled Doornfontein, with neither umlaut nor dieresis.]
Plate XXVII ... This Cottage is provided with water and electric light from the stables.
[The implication is that these amenities would not have been provided for the human habitation on its own merits, but were deemed essential for the horses.]
Plate XXXI ... High roofs and chimneys and heavy wooden cornices being the principal features.
[Here a comma splice, there a fragment. Oh well.]
Plate XXXV ... Mr. E. J. May, Architect.
[It is reassuring to learn that Mr. E. J. May is a worthy designer in his own right, and not merely the lender of plans drawn up by the late Mr. W. Eden Nesfield.]
[This house is still standing. Since 1970 it has been a Listed (Historical) Building. The address is now 5, Priory Avenue (not “Road”) W4, because the area has long since been absorbed into London).]
[Plate XXXVIII] the alcoves give space for a piano or other large piece of furniture
[On the one hand, the alcoves are at some distance from doors, windows and fireplaces, which does make them suitable for a piano. On the other hand, they are set into an exterior wall—apparently the north wall, hence the entire lack of windows. It had better be well insulated.]
Plate XXXIX ... The plan is peculiar
[I’ll say. It puts me forcibly in mind of Donlon Hall, Cornell University’s most bewildering dormitory.]
Plate XLVII.: Seaside Cottage, Cowes, Isle of Wight.
[I guess Osborne House doesn’t count as a Cottage. Besides, it’s 1904; Edward has probably unloaded it by now.]
[Illustration] Plate XLVIII
[I believe this is the only cottage in the book to have two staircases—but why? Though the author forgot to include the upstairs plan, the shape of the building doesn’t seem to allow for more than two bedrooms.]
[Illustration] Plate L
[I almost cleaned away the splodges in the illustration until I figured out it’s supposed to be smoke coming from the chimneys. Oops.]
PRINTED BY W. KNOTT
[You might expect this colophon to come at the very end, after the Plates, but in fact it was printed right after the text, on the blank page that would have been page 30 if it had a number.]
The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.