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The architecture was always a mark of evolution. Architecture trends have changed and evolved throughout the eras and they are a mark of how the British society grew after the Romans left Britain.

It was considered for a long period of time that once the Romans will leave the land, the natives will not be able to care and maintain the buildings, elegant villas, and towns.

For some centuries, this was exactly what happened in England, because the culture experienced the period called the Dark Ages. Everything fell into decay, and no one trusted that the society would regain its light. However, there are also historians that state that the Anglo-Saxons had their own architectural style, but very few buildings survived and this is why there are no proofs left to show their achievements. They preferred to build with wood, and in time, it was affected by decay. The period between the 16th century and 17th century is marked by great architectural achievement.

 

Buildings for purposes

During the 16th century, people considered important to keep a purpose in mind when they started building. The houses were designed as symbols of wealth and status. The Tudor architecture is characterized by outward-looking houses because there was no need to build the houses in order to protect you from enemies. During this period people focused on the exterior décor of the properties and the rooms of a house are created to be lighter and bigger. Glass was extensively used because it was one of the statements for wealth. The houses built during this period have central entrances. As materials, there were preferred later brick and stone.

During the Tudor period, there were built the Hampton Court Palace, the Longleat House, and the Hardwick Hall. They are famous buildings because they reflect the artisanship skills of the people at the time. The Hardwick Hall is one of the Tudor buildings that survived remarkably through time, and it reflects the most important features of the Tudor style, it is a compact, tall and beautiful building.

Buildings for feelings

During the 17th century, there was a single architect who managed to set himself apart from the others, and his name is Inigo Jones. He was confident in his choice to use classical details when building houses. The other 17th century architects preferred to work with the same exuberance characteristic to the Tudor period and to customize it until there was no connection between the elements used as decorations. It was overwhelming to look at the details put together in the same building.

But this period is also marked by the Civil War. British citizens traveled to Europe mainland, and they were exposed to Italian, Dutch and French architecture. They learned more about the European trends and when they came back, they decided to build their houses according to the Baroque style. They preferred geometrical, formal and symmetrical lines for their houses. A true lord would create his house in a rich and melodramatic manner. The homeowners focused on the outdoor space, and they started to design gardens in straight lines. There were created pathways through the garden to allow them to walk. The architecture of this period is named Baroque, and it reflects the ideology of a society marked by the Civil War.

During the 17th century, there were constructed the Queens House, the St Paul’s Cathedral and the Blenheim Palace. Inigo Jones is the one who designed and built the Queens House, the construction was started in 1616 for Queen Anne, but it was finished in 1635 for Queen Henrietta Maria. The St Paul’s Cathedral is the perfect expression of Baroque style.

Buildings for geniuses

At the beginning of the 18th century, a new architectural style was needed, because the Baroque was the expression of an authoritarian rule. The new age needed a style that reflects a civilization rival to that of the ancient Rome. The architecture of the age was based on the books written by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. He restored and reconstructed the buildings dated in the ancient Rome, so there is no surprise that the British people wanted to use them as examples when they built their homes. If there are people who consider buying exclusive homes in London then there are some homes built during the 18th century that are listed on sale. Palladio offered illustrations on how palaces and villas should look to share the grandeur of the ancient Rome. This is the source of inspiration for the Georgian style.

What the British people would soon find out is that Palladio guidelines were too idealistic, and it was quite difficult to meet them. Therefore, the architects of the time decided that they would use the ancient buildings as their models when they will build castles and villas, they were considered the highest standards, but they understood that there is no point to tend to something limitless.

During the 18th century, there was already shaped the idea of a national style and architecture was one of the subjects that received a lot of attention. This does not mean that neo-classical houses were no longer constructed. But the majority of the buildings were huge in size because people preferred to live in castles. People took advantage of the Mayfair development opportunities and they created some picturesque cottages that even nowadays are sold at a high price on the market. It is considered that this is the era when the Cult of the Style emerged. During the Georgian period, there were constructed some of the most important buildings from Britain. The Chiswick House, Kedleston Hall, and Strawberry Hill are true examples of an architecture that found its own way. The Chiswick House is the first building constructed according to the new rules of architecture, and it was the proof that the British people decided to fire against the Georgian period. The Kedleston Hall is the building made according to the principles Palladio stated and it has austere but delicate interiors, remarkable through their decorations.