Jacobethan Architecture

17 Nov
Started in 1580 and completed in 1588 for Sir Francis Willoughby (1547-1596) and is believed to be by the Elizabethan architect, Robert Smythson. Remodelling was carried out by Sir Jeffry Wyattville in 1801 and continued on and off until the 1830s. Wollaton Hall Wollaton Hall in the late 18th century. Engraving by M A Rooker after a drawing by Thomas Sandby
Sandringham House, Norfolk, England. In 1862, the hall was purchased by Queen Victoria at the request of the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) as a home for himself and his new bride, Alexandra. Sandringham House Sandringham House
 
Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire, England. It was built 1837 by Sir Gregory Gregory. Harlaxton Manor  
 
Jacobethan is the style designation coined in 1933 by John Betjeman to describe the English Revival style made popular from the 1830s, which derived most of its inspiration and its repertory from the English Renaissance (1550 – 1625), with elements of Elizabethan and Jacobean.

Anthony Salvin’s Harlaxton Manor, 1837 – 1855, defines the Jacobethan taste.

As architectural term
Its main characteristics are flattened, cusped “Tudor” arches, lighter stone trims around windows and doors, carved brick detailing, steep roof gables, often terra-cotta brickwork, balustrades and parapets, pillars supporting porches and high chimneys as in the Elizabethan style. Examples of this style are Mentmore in Buckinghamshire and Sandringham House in Norfolk, England.

In 1838, the Gothic revival was well under way in Britain, when Joseph Nash, trained in A.W.N. Pugin’s office designing Gothic details, struck out on his own with a lithographed album Architecture of the Middle Ages : Drawn from Nature and on Stone in 1838. Casting about for a follow-up, Nash extended the range of antiquarian interests forward in time with his next series of lithographs The Mansions of England in the Olden Time 1839 – 1849, which accurately illustrated Tudor and Jacobean great houses, interiors as well as exteriors, made lively with furnishings and peopled by inhabitants in ruffs and farthingales, the quintessence of “Merrie Olde England”. A volume of text accompanied the fourth and last volume of plates in 1849, but it was Nash’s picturesque illustrations that popularized the style and created a demand for the variations on the English Renaissance styles that was the essence of the newly-revived “Jacobethan” vocabulary.

Two young architects already providing Jacobethan buildings were (later Sirs) James Pennethorne and Anthony Salvin. Salvin’s Jacobethan Harlaxton Manor, [1], near Grantham, Lincolnshire, its first sections completed in 1837, is the great example that defines the style.

The Jacobethan Revival survived the late 19th century and became a part of the commercial builder’s repertory through the first 20 years of the 20th century. Apart from its origins in the UK, the style became popular both in Canada and throughout the United States during those periods, for sturdy “baronial” dwellings in a free Renaissance style. A key exponent of the style was T.G. Jackson.

As literary term
More recently the term has proved useful to literary studies that are emphasizing the continuity of English literature in the half century 1575 – 1625. For example the 1603 death of Elizabeth I of England falls in the middle of Shakespeare’s career as dramatist: he is both an Elizabethan and a Jacobean writer.

Further reading
Mowl, Tim, 1993. Elizabethan And Jacobean Style (Phaidon).

Mentmore, in Buckinghamshire, built between 1852 and 1854 for Baron Mayer de Rothschild
Cambridge Arms (1925), New Haven, CT. Constructed during New Haven’s apartment house building boom of the 1920s, the Cambridge Arms, on High Street, was designed by Lester Julianelle in the Jacobethan-style, to complement the Gothic architecture of nearby Yale University. Jacobethan was a more elaborate style than the humbler and more rustic Tudorbethan. The apartment building features the Jacobethan’s multifaceted turrets and varied bays, which helped reduce the structure’s massiveness on a residential street.
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