Elizabethan architecture

Elizabethan architecture

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Elizabethan architecture is the term given to early Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. Historically, the period corresponds to the Cinquecento
Cinquecento
Cinquecento is a term used to describe the Italian Renaissance of the 16th century, including the current styles of art, music, literature, and architecture.-Art:...

 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the Early Renaissance
French Renaissance architecture
French Renaissance architecture is the style of architecture which was imported to France from Italy during the early 16th century and developed in the light of local architectural traditions....

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and the Plateresque style in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Stylistically, it followed Tudor architecture
Tudor architecture
The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period and even beyond, for conservative college patrons...

 and was succeeded in the 17th century by Palladian architecture
Palladian architecture
Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio . The term "Palladian" normally refers to buildings in a style inspired by Palladio's own work; that which is recognised as Palladian architecture today is an evolution of...

 introduced by Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

.

History


Renaissance architecture arrived in England during the reign of Elizabeth I, having first spread through the Low countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 where among other features it acquired versions of the Dutch gable
Crow-stepped gable
A Stepped gable, Crow-stepped gable, or Corbie step is a stair-step type of design at the top of the triangular gable-end of a building...

, and Flemish
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 strapwork
Strapwork
In the history of art and design, the term strapwork refers to a stylised representation in ornament of strips or bands of curling leather, parchment or metal cut into elaborate shapes, with piercings and often interwoven...

 in geometric designs. Both of these features can be seen on the towers of Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Hall is a country house standing on a small but prominent hill in Wollaton, Nottingham, England. Wollaton Park is the area of parkland that the stately house stands in. The house itself is a natural history museum, with other museums in the out-buildings...

 and again at Montacute House
Montacute House
Montacute House is a late Elizabethan country house situated in the South Somerset village of Montacute. This house is a textbook example of English architecture during a period that was moving from the medieval Gothic to the Renaissance Classical; this has resulted in Montacute being regarded as...

. It was also at this time that English houses adopted the concept of a long gallery being the chief reception room. In England, the Renaissance tended to manifest itself in large square tall houses such as Longleat House. Often these buildings had asymmetrical towers which hint at the evolution from medieval fortified architecture.

Hatfield House
Hatfield House
Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I and has been the home of the Cecil...

, built in its entirety by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC was an English administrator and politician.-Life:He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke...

, between 1607 and 1611, is a perfect example of the transition period from the gabled turreted style of the previous era. One can clearly see the turreted Tudor-style wings at each end with their mullioned windows, however, the whole is achieving a symmetry and the two wings are linked by an Italianate Renaissance facade. This central facade, originally an open loggia
Loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

, has been attributed to Inigo Jones himself, however, the central porch carries a heavier Jacobean
Jacobean architecture
The Jacobean style is the second phase of Renaissance architecture in England, following the Elizabethan style. It is named after King James I of England, with whose reign it is associated.-Characteristics:...

 influence than Jones would have used, so the attribution is probably false. Inside the house, the elaborately carved staircase demonstrates the Italian renaissance impression on English ornament.

During the reigns of Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

, many Italian artists came over who carried out various decorative features at Hampton Court, Layer Marney Tower
Layer Marney Tower
Layer Marney Tower is a Tudor palace, composed of buildings, gardens and parkland, dating from 1520 situated in Layer Marney near Colchester, Essex, England.-History:...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

 (1522-1525), Sutton Place, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

 (1529), Nonsuch Palace
Nonsuch Palace
Nonsuch Palace was a Tudor royal palace, built by Henry VIII in Surrey, England; it stood from 1538 to 1682–3. Its ruins are in Nonsuch Park.- Background :Nonsuch Palace in Surrey was perhaps the grandest of Henry VIII's building projects...

, and elsewhere. Later in the century, Flemish craftsmen succeeded the Italians, and the Royal Exchange in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 (1566-1570) is one of the first important buildings designed by Henri de Paschen, an architect from Antwerp.

Places showing the style introduced by Flemish workmen:
  • Wollaton Hall
    Wollaton Hall
    Wollaton Hall is a country house standing on a small but prominent hill in Wollaton, Nottingham, England. Wollaton Park is the area of parkland that the stately house stands in. The house itself is a natural history museum, with other museums in the out-buildings...

  • Hatfield House
    Hatfield House
    Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I and has been the home of the Cecil...

  • Blickling Hall
    Blickling Hall
    Blickling Hall is a stately home in the village of Blickling north of Aylsham in Norfolk, England, that has been in the care of the National Trust since 1940.-History:...

  • Audley End
  • Charterhouse
    London Charterhouse
    The London Charterhouse is a historic complex of buildings in Smithfield, London dating back to the 14th century. It occupies land to the north of Charterhouse Square. The Charterhouse began as a Carthusian priory, founded in 1371 and dissolved in 1537...

     (London)
  • Danny House
    Danny House
    Danny is an impressive Grade I listed Elizabethan red brick Mansion near Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, England. It lies at the northern foot of Wolstonbury Hill and one of the finest stately houses in Sussex, with 56 bedrooms and 28 apartments. The present house was built 1593-95 by George...


Surveyors (architects) active in this period

  • Robert Adams
    Robert Adams (architect)
    Robert Adams was a 16th century English architect, engraver and surveyor of buildings to Queen Elizabeth.None of Robert Adams' architectural works are known to have survived, but some of his plans and engravings are still extant, such as a large 1588 plan of Middleburgh and, from the same year, a...

     (1540–1595)
  • William Arnold
    William Arnold (architect)
    William Arnold was an important master mason in Somerset, England.Little is known about him, but he is known to have been living in Charlton Musgrove near Wincanton in 1595 where he was church warden. His first known commission was for the design of Montacute House in c1598...

     (fl. 1595–1637)
  • Simon Basil
    Simon Basil
    Simon Basil was a surveyor, perhaps an architect, who held the post of Surveyor of the King's Works, 1606-15.His first appearance, in 1590, was in drawing a plan of Ostend, a military objective at the time, for the previous Surveyor, Robert Adams...

     (fl. 1590 — 1615)
  • Robert Lyminge
    Robert Lyminge
    Robert Lyminge his surname is also spelt Lemyinge & Liminge, was an English carpenter and architect, his earliest record of employment is dated 1607 at the almshouses at Theobalds in Hertfordshire....

     (fl. 1607-1628)
  • Robert Smythson
    Robert Smythson
    Robert Smythson was an English architect. Smythson designed a number of notable houses during the Elizabethan era. Little is known about his birth and upbringing—his first mention in historical records comes in 1556, when he was stonemason for the house at Longleat, built by Sir John Thynne...

     (1535–1614)
  • John Thorpe
    John Thorpe
    John Thorpe or Thorp was an English architect. Little is known of his life, and his work is dubiously inferred, rather than accurately known, from a folio of drawings in the Sir John Soane's Museum, to which Horace Walpole called attention, in 1780, in his Anecdotes of Painting; but how far these...

     or Thorp(c.1565-1655?; fl.1570-1618)

See also


  • Tudorbethan and Jacobethan
    Jacobethan
    Jacobethan is the style designation coined in 1933 by John Betjeman to describe the mixed national Renaissance revival style that was made popular in England from the late 1820s, which derived most of its inspiration and its repertory from the English Renaissance , with elements of Elizabethan and...

    , revivals derived (in part) from Elizabethan architecture