Accommodation. This may be considered a comfortable dwelling for a gardener or bailiff in Britain; or for a small proprietor in America, or Australia. It contains, on the ground-floor, an entrance lobby, a; staircase, b; kitchen, c; parlour, d; tool-house or office for paying men, e; pantry and dairy, f; back kitchen, g; shed for wood and fuel, h; dusthole, i; privy, k; and cow-house, with hen-house over, l. The cow-house is connected with a court-yard, which contains a shed for hay and straw, piggeries, and dung-pit, with a manure well, connected with the privy. The platform, on three sides of this dwelling, forms a handsome walk, from which there is a door into the court-yard. The bed-room floor contains a best bed-room, m; a second bed-room, n; a third bed-room, o; and a stair, p.
Construction. The walls may be of brick, or stone, or of brick nogging plastered externally, as shown in the elevation; care being taken, whatever material may be used, that the colour is neither a glaring red, nor a glaring white. The roof may be covered with reeds, or with combed wheat straw (straw from which the ears of grain have been cut, or combed off, in cinsiquence of which, the culms are unbruised by the flail). The intersecting lines shown at the ridge of the roof, and which may appear to many, not accustomed to see reed-covered buildings, as a mere ornament at the fancy of the thatcher, are formed by rods, generally of hazel, for the purpose of keeping down the layer of reeds, which are spread across the ridge tree of the roof. The intersecting rods, fig. 89, q, are kept in their places by the horizontal rods, r, r; and these are fastened to the thatch, by staples, or spits, or broaches, s, which are nothing more than short pieces of rod, previously well steeped in water, to render them flexible, bent in the form of a staple hook, and stick in the thatch or reeds. The forked piece of wood represented on the upper part of the gable end, should only be employed if the walls are of brick nogging. The entrance door is ledged; and the bed-room windows, which are broad rather rhan high, show two perpendicular and fixed bars or mullions; the casements being hinged to open inwards. The small windows in the lean-to are round-headed, with Gothic labels over them, fig. 90. The chimney shafts may be executed in cement, in a decorated style, (fig. 91, to a scale of the fourth of an inch [from the printed book] to a foot), such as is sometimes found in the better description of old cottages and farm-houses.
Situation. This dwelling being intended as an ornamental object, should not be crowded with trees; at the same time it is not calculated for a very exposed situation.
Expression. The style aimed at here is something of what is called the old English manner. Whatever interest may be excited by associations connected with this style, the specimen here represented, has evidently very little merit, taken by itself as a system of building. When a cottage is throughout in one system or style, all the parts of which it is composed, will seem to be the result of the mode of its construction; and to follow each other so obviously, that the eye and the mind are naturally led from one to the other throughout the whole super-structure. This is Wood's doctrine; and tried by it, the Design before us will certainly be found wanting. There may be historical or accidental associations between the form of the door an that of the window over it; that is, it may bave been usual to have such doors and windows in the some building in some old English cottages; but certainly the form of the one does not naturally arise out of the form of the other. Neither can it be said that the projection of part of the bed-room floor, as shown over the door-way, has anything to do with the mode of construction; on the contrary, to the eye of reason, it appears an inferior method; while, as a projection, it not only has not the merit of real utility, by the pretension which it might have had of forming a shelter to the entrance door, is destroyed, by that door having a small roof of its own; a superfluity which ought to have been avoided, since the walls of the porch evidently do not stand out beyond the line of the projection of the bed-room story. The small wing, or lean-to, shown below this last mentioned window, seems to be in a different style from the rest of the building; both as regards the projection of its roof, and the labels to its two small windows. On the whole, though we acknowledge the ensemble of thes Design to present a picturesque appearance, yet as a piece of Architecture, we consider it a deformity. Where the form of any one part of a building, says Wood, does not seem to depend upon that below it, but might as well be substituted by something different, the principle of arrangement is wanting. In looking at any building we endeavour to trace some simple principle of arrangement, the want of which can never be made up by good-parts forced into service, or by superfluity of ornament. Profusion of parts, or of ornaments, without obvious connexion and propriety, produce confusion and absurdity. (Letters of an Architect &c. vol 1. p.6) We have presented this Design for the purpose of showing how easy it is to captivate the eye in matter of this kind, without any one point completely satisfying judgement.
One of many
house plans from the book
Loudon's Architecture, Book 1.1.
Godey's Lady's Books in the 1850s took their Designs from Loudon's Architecture, Book 1, so this cottage plan is also sampled in