The Goddard Trail - Architectural Styles

Throughout this trail references are made to styles of architecture such as 'Gothic', 'Baroque' etc. Many buildings combine elements from different styles and below is a very brief, and very simple, guide to what these expressions mean. For a more detailed look at buildings, architects and the history of architecture try these sites: About: Architecture, the Pevsner Guides, the RIBA site Architecture.com.
Arts and Crafts - influenced by Willam Morris this movement reacted against cheap mass-produced buildings and decorating materials by advocating a return to high quality materials and hand-made excellence in all fields of art and decoration - furniture, textiles, wallpaper etc. An example of the simplicity admired by this school is Gimson's White House in Leicester, 1898. Buildings often mixed Arts and Crafts with elements from the English Vernacular, Old English, or Queen Anne styles.
Baroque - the origin of the term 'baroque' is uncertain but buildings in this style may display exuberant decoration, expansive curved shapes, rich colours, large-scale, sweeping vistas, and spatially complex compositions. The English didn't really take this style to heart and here it was often tempered with classical elements. Think of Blenheim Palace nationally or, on a much smaller scale, Leicester's General News Room , 1898, which combines baroque and classical elements.
Classical - the principles of Greek or, more often, Roman art and architecture. Georgian classicism was most heavily influenced by Palladianism - understated decorative elements and use of classical 'orders' such as Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian. This began in the 1750s as a reaction against the excesses of late baroque. New Walk has several buildings in a variety of Classical styles, while there is a simple classical building, c.1750, in Friars Lane.
Domestic Revival - the English vernacular revival applied to houses. Medieval or Tudor styles - half-timbering, overhanging gables. Goddard's Knighton Spinneys , 1885, is an example of this, and the council houses at 317-355 Narborough Rd, 1928, also show this influence.
Gothic - known in the Middle Ages as the 'French Style', medieval architecture was critically attacked in the 16th century and compared to the barbarism of the Goths who had attacked Rome - hence 'Gothic'. Think of buildings with strong vertical lines, high vaulted ceilings, pointed window and door openings, and buttressed walls. From 1066 architectural style in England moved from Anglo-Saxon to Norman (also called Romanesque). Gothic elements were added to Romanesque buildings in a Transitional stage, occasionally called Norman Gothic, and from around 1200 the history of the style in England is usually divided into three phases - Early English Gothic, Decorated Gothic, Perpendicular Gothic - each of which shows an evolution in style. The Victorian Gothic revival began in earnest around 1840, a good example being the Palace of Westminster, London. High Victorian Gothic, such as the Albert Memorial in London or Leicester's Clocktower ,1868, became very popular in the mid to late 1800s.
Queen Anne - buildings shaped by English mid-17th century brick houses under Dutch influence. This style became popular at the beginning of the 1870s and Leicester was, for a change, being quite modern when it commissioned the Town Hall in the Queen Anne style in 1876. However, architects often combined Queen Anne elements with other styles and two buildings as seemingly different as the Aylestone Nursing Home 1878, and The Tudor 1900-01, may be said to be Queen Anne influenced and yet share only a few features with the Town Hall. Features of the style include tall sash windows, ornate chimneys, decoration with tiles or ornamental carvings,and asymmetric gables. It was a style often used for the Board schools of the late 1800s.
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