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history of UK housing

we found a cool timeline around the uk housing architecture that we wanted to share with our users. The below was originally produced by Get me my Mortgage

Tudor – 1485 – 1603

tudor house

The Tudor house was defined by its Tudor arch and oriel windows. The Tudor period was the first period to move away from the medieval style houses and was more like a timber framed country house. Today Tudor houses are all listed building and highly sought after due to there location and the amount of space and history involved. Tudor houses are an expensive housing option so be prepared for the financial layout and upkeep costs. If that doesn’t put you off then buying a Tudor house could be a great investment and opportunity to keep English heritage alive.

Elizabethan – 1550 -1625

elizabethan house

Elizabethan houses can be recognised by their large vertical timber frames that are often supported by diagonal beams. The Elizabethan style houses were similar to medieval style houses. These houses were built sturdy to last through the age. The houses were built by the middle class are are today listed building.

Jacobean – 1603 – 1625

Jacobean house

The Jacobean style gets its name from King James 1 of England who reigned at the time. The Jacobean style in England follows the Elizabethan style and is the second phase of Renaissance architecture. May Jacobean houses were very large both inside and out with large rooms for family living.  Common features included columns and pilasters, arches and archades. These features were to create a sense of grandeur. There are many Jacobean style houses on the market today if your lucky enough to be able to afford one.

Stuart – 1603 – 1714

stuart house

One of the most common period property types for country houses. This period house boasted elegant exteriors with sash windows, high ceiling and spacious rooms. The outside was commonly bare brick and flat fronted.

English Baroque – 1702 – 1714

During this period houses were decorated with arches, columns and sculptures and took many features and characteristics from the continent. The interiors were very exuberant with artwork and ornaments in all rooms main rooms

Palladian – 1715 -1770

palladian house

The Palladian era started in 1715 and these types of houses are characterised by symmetry and classic forms, more plain than other eras however on the inside houses were lavish and often had elaborate decorations

Georgian – 1714 – 1837

georgian house

The Georgian house was styled with rigid symmetry, the most common Georgian house was built with brick with window decorative headers and hip roofs. The Georgian house period started and got its name due to the 4 successive kings being named George.

Regency – 1811 – 1820

regency house

The Regency housing style was common among the upper and middle classes from 1811 to 1820 the houses were typically built in brick and then covered in painted plaster. The plaster was carefully moulded to produce elegant decorative touches to give the exterior of the house more elegance.

Victorian – 1837 – 1910

victorian house

Very common even today especially in London. A Victorian house in general refers to any house build during the reign of Queen Victoria. The main features of a Victoria house are roofs made of slate with sash windows and patters in the brick work that are made using different colour bricks. Stained Glass windows and doors were also a common feature as were bay windows

Edwardian – 1901 -1910

edwardian house

Edwardian architecture got its name during the reign of King Edward from 1901 – 1910. These types of houses were generally built in a straight line with red brick. Edwardian houses typically had wooden frame porches and wide hallways. The rooms inside were wider and brighter moving away from the older style houses that were more gothic. Parquet wood floors and simple internal decoration was common also.

Shrewsbury, England ART

History and Modern Art Culture Meet in Shrewsbury, England

While there are many places to visit in England, Shrewsbury isn’t listed very high on the list of tourist destinations. This can be counted as a plus. This medieval town in the borderlands near Wales offers castles, festivals, abbeys, and beautiful architecture.
The town, located on the River Severn, is a short two and a half hour day trip, according to National Rail Enquiries, from London and well worth the stop.

Shrewsbury Abbey

Shrewsbury is the home a famous fictional detective, Brother Cadfael. The medieval monk, featured in Ellis Peter’s books and later gained a wider audience in the United States on PBS’s “Mystery” did his sleuthing in the Abbey, which was founded as a Benedictine Monastery in 1083.

Visiting the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul is free, and the scenery surrounding the site is beautiful. They do ask that you check in first on the opening times in case there’s a wedding, funeral, or regular services.

Old Market Hall and The Square

Within Shrewsbury’s Square is the Old Market Hall, the former cloth market that’s been refurbished as an arts venue and cafe. Built in 1596, the current square was essentially a pool or bog. Today the square is the centerpiece of the town featuring food markets and holiday and music events.

The cafe bar features teas, cofees, wines, sandwiches except on Sundays, cakes and snacks. It’s open from 10 a.m. until late most days and closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Shrewsbury Castle and The Shropshire Regimental Museum

The high walls of this castle loom large over the town, so it would be hard for any visitor to miss. Visit the grounds, which are free to visit Mondays through Saturdays and open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The museum within the castle, whose oldest portions date back to between 1066 and 1074, includes historic relics of the Shropshire Regimental Museum Trust.

Wroxeter Roman City

Long before Shrewsbury was a medieval town, there was Viroconium, the fourth largest city in Roman Britain. Located five miles east of Shrewsbury, Wroxeter houses second century municipal baths to visit and the ruins of a giant gateway. A replica of a Roman town house was built for a television show and is also available to visit.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington D.C. in Germantown, Maryland.

The New England Confederation

The New England Confederation

The New England Confederation, officially known as the United Colonies of New England, was an alliance between the Puritan English colonies of North America. It was formed in order to provide defense against the indigenous peoples and other colonial powers, such as the French; Dutch; and Spanish, as well as settle disputes between member colonies. The Rhode Island colony was deliberately left out of this union as it was believed, by most of the member colonies, to contain too many immoral persons and questionable values. Despite this exclusion, the confederation demonstrated that the English colonies of North America could work in cooperation with one another and provided the basis for what would become the United States of America.

As a result of the English Civil War the colonies could only rely on themselves. A continued problem for administrators of justice in the colonies was that fugitives of the law could flee from one colony to the next without fear of apprehension. Also, each colony faced problems with obtaining funds for the general running of government. Then, above all, there were the problems of defense against foreign and ingenious powers.

Thus, in 1643 representatives of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven met to form a union of colonies. The representatives drafted The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England. In the articles they established a common treasury and common militia. Also, an eight man commission, consisting of two commissioners from each of the four colonies, with a president, was also established for the administration of confederation business.

The agreement remedied several of the problems the colonies faced. It was stated in the agreement that should a fugitive flee from one member colony to another, the fugitive would be apprehended and returned to the colony from which they fled in order to face trial and any possible penalties. Each colony agreed to provide men and money in proportion to its population to the common militia and treasury. It would take a majority vote of six of the eight commissioners in order to declare war or raise levies.

Overall, the confederation was a success in that it demonstrated that cooperation could be established and achieved between the English colonies of North America that had been established one at a time and functioned almost as separate countries. However, the confederation was damaged when Massachusetts refused to enter the war against the Dutch in 1654. Though, the confederation would again gain strength and importance when the colonies waged King Phillip’s War from 1675-1676 it would ultimately collapse with the revocation of Massachusetts’ colonial charter in 1684 and a new union, the Dominion of New England, being imposed on the colonies in 1686.

England Political: Causes of the Hundred Years War

England Political: Causes of the Hundred Years War

History of England

The Hundred Years War(1337-1453) was waged between England and France. This conflict between the two great western powers at the height of the Middle Ages proved to have long lasting effects that have left their mark on the world today. To understand the factors that caused this war we have to direct our attention nearly three hundred years prior to the outbreak of the conflict. 1066, the Battle of Hastings.
Duke William of Normandy, or William the Conqueror of England as he would come to be known had an enormous influence on Europe. In addition to bringing feudalism to England, changing the language and culture of the native Anglo-Saxons, and starting an immense castle-building project William replaced Anglo-Saxon England with a new kingdom. This new nation, dominated by French masters, was the original cause of the Hundred Years War.

Confused? For several hundred years afterward the Kings of “England” were Normans.

They spoke french. They were technically vassals of the french king. England was basically a source of revenue and a title to give legitimacy to Norman political interests on the continent. Henry I (1100-1135) demonstrated this during his reign when he had his daughter Matilda married to Geoffrey of Anjou, a major political rival of Normandy. In the next generation Anjou would become part of England’s lands.

Henry II (1154-1189)

Henry II (1154-1189) continued the trend through both conquest and marriage. His union with Eleanor added Aquitaine and Gascony to the king’s possessions. Military conquest added Brittany, Ireland, Poitou, and other provinces to his control. By the end of his reign The King of England owned more of France than the French King. These major invasions were the first military conflicts that would develop into the Hundred Years War.

Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199)

Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199), King of England, didn’t speak English. During his reign he spent less than six months in England and that was only to raise money to go on the Third Crusade. In his long absence, King Phillip of France attacked and attempted to conquer a large portion of England’s holdings. Richard returned and was killed in battle a few years later.

French advances continued and England lost a great deal of its former holdings throughout the reign of King John (1199-1216). Henry III (1216-1272) spent a great deal of money and effort in failed attempts to regain England’s former land in France.

Edward I (1272-1307)

Edward I (1272-1307) realized the futility of fruitless conflict with France. He fortified what England had left on the continent and directed effort into conquering Wales and Scotland. Wales was defeated and added to the empire. Scotland however resisted furiously and never truly submitted. Edward is unique in that he is the first Norman King of England to place his focus on the British Isles and their resources rather than the agricultural wealth of french lands. Conquering Wales also introduced the longbow to the English military, a technological advance that would prove critical to their victory in the early years of the Hundred Years War.

King Edward II (1307-1327)

King Edward II (1307-1327) was the most disastrous of all. He tried to extend the proverbial olive branch by offering to marry Isabella, the daughter of the King of France. Tentative peace lasted for a few years while Edward was busy failing to suppress further Scottish rebellions and fighting his own barons. He then got into an argument with the French King over Gascony and sent his wife to negotiate a treaty. Unfortunately, Edward, who had neglected his wife, learned the fury of a woman scorned when she returned to Paris. Isabella allied herself with a man named Roger Mortimer and led an invasion of England. Edward II was eventually imprisoned and forced to abdicate his throne. He was deemed an incompetent ruler for a number of reasons, including having lost Ireland, Scotland, and Gascony. His fourteen year old son, Edward III took the throne of England (though Mortimer and Isabella planned to control him).

READ MORE AT “BRITANNICA”: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-II-king-of-England

Edward III (1327-1377)

Edward III (1327-1377) was the king who launched the Hundred Years War. At the age of seventeen he overthrew Mortimer and suppressed the Scottish rebellions. Edward wanted desperately to recover the lands that his father had lost and restore England’s glory, he also wanted revenge for France helping the Scots to resist his counter invasion.

The direct line of rule in France ended with the death of Phillip III in 1314. His three sons each reigned for a few short years before their own deaths. This led to a dynastic dispute and in a bold move Edward declared himself as the King of both France and England. (claiming that as the daughter of Isabella he was the nephew of the former French King had legitimate rights to the throne). By English interpretation of feudal laws of primogeniture this was completely legal. However, the French said that dynastic rule could not be passed through a woman and Edward’s claim was unfounded. The french championed the next closest relative to the former king.

Edward III had fashioned the perfect reason to go to war and recover all the wealth and power of his ancestors and restore the glory of his line. By winning the Hundred Years Way Edward III hoped to realize his ambition of becoming the monarch of the supreme power in Western Europe. Far greater than Spain or the disparate Holy Roman Empire. A power that would have redefined that nature of the world as we know it today.

Socialism uk

Socialism from Over the Pond

I was born into life under a socialist government. The United Kingdom voted the Labour Party into office in 1945 shortly after Conservative Winston Churchill had led the country to victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. I was born three years later and I spent the first fifty years of my life there. Even though there were periods of time when the Tories regained power, there was not a major change of policy that I can recall, until Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. But the social welfare programs, the public health service and many other elements of post war socialism remain in place to this day.

My family has its roots in the county of Staffordshire, England, famed for its pottery. But according to what I have been told, until the early 20th century, my ancestors were not potters but farmers. But that does not suggest that they were wealthy landowners. It is probably more the case that land was first rented from an estate – a squire or other member of the so called “landed gentry” would allow individual farmers to lease plots of land to grow crops and raise animals. These plots were actually “strips” of land. Under the 3 field system, which covered much of England, all the land around a village was divided into three large fields. Each farmer would own several strips of land in each field. Later, in the 18th century, land was enclosed – in other words the three large fields were broken up and each farmer had his own fields. That meant that each farmer had all his land in one place instead of scattered across three fields, thus being more efficient. But nevertheless, it was quite possible that the land that my great great grandfather worked in the 1800’s was rented – but I am not sure.

The point that I am making is this. The social structure of England evolved from a feudal system. The King would give land to friends and relatives, people who had done service to him. You might say, rather like the way politics works today. But I digress. Those landowners would, rather than get their hands dirty, allow the peasants to work the land in return for payment to the lord.

Life changed in a major way from the mid 1700’s onwards, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. By the late 1800’s most people had moved to the towns and were working in factories, mines and in other forms of employment. The fabric of British life changed. But the framework remained – with the landowners and aristocracy as well as the factory owners on the one hand and the “peasants” or workers on the other.

I came across the pond at the age of 50, some 225 years or so after the Declaration of Independence. I married an American or, to be more precise, I married a Texan. I left behind socialist Britain and came to the land of the free, the land of opportunity, these United States of America. Little did I know that soon after gaining citizenship last September, I would be able to vote for a new President and to witness the gigantic shift of government that has taken place in the first few weeks of the successful candidate.

I came here with the knowledge that America welcomed entrepreneurs. I knew that the United States encouraged small business success and congratulated those that were willing to step out in faith and be creative. I neither looked for charity nor expected it from government. But I knew that there was a tremendous opportunity for anyone willing to work hard on their own account.

But I see this country heading towards the socialism that I had left behind. Irrespective of the fact that it did not work in 21st century Britain and despite the fact that socialized medicine is bankrupt even in Canada, these United States are seemingly heading that way. Why?

As a child I was brought up in a working class home. The newspaper that was delivered to our house reflected the left wing political views my parents eschewed. That was not unusual. Because the Conservative Party that I knew represented the inheritance from the landed gentry from whom my ancestors had rented strips of land and to whom they paid their dues. That was a somewhat different scenario to the political picture here in the USA, where conservatism reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and the free market open to all. Those with liberal views, on the other hand, can be associated with such diverse groups as trade unions representing car workers on the one hand and millionaire Hollywood actors on the other.

Everyone is telling me that socialism is not something that America is accustomed to. I can understand that completely, because of the different history that it has experienced in its short life, compared to the history of Europe, including my country of birth.

I really hope that someone wakes me up before this nightmare plays out.

The New England Blizzard of 1978

The New England Blizzard of 1978: A Look Back

It was a Monday morning, February 6th, 1978. Across Southern New England, snowflakes were beginning to gently and gradually float down from the sky. Thousands of people were going about their daily lives, heading to school and work, dismissing dire forecasts of a powerful blizzard. However, in the days ahead, those people would come to regret that decision.

One day earlier, the storm that became the New England Blizzard of 1978 began its life just off the coast of South Carolina as a weak low pressure system. As the warm tropical moisture contained within it interacted with an arctic airmass and upper-level low tracking across the Appalachians, it began to strengthen rapidly and track northward, bound for New England.

Upon reaching Martha’s Vineyard, the now monster storm encountered strong high pressure to the north over southeastern Canada and Greenland. Unable to break through, it could go no further. The strong would remain stalled in that location for the next 36 hours, dumping heavy snow on New England the entire time.

The fact that the storm was so powerful and lasted so long was disastrous for the unprepared states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. People there heard the forecasts, but either assumed that the predictions were wrong or thought that it wasn’t going to be a big deal, so they headed into work that morning.

The snowfall rate would exceed an inch per hour.

Shortly before noon, the first flakes begin to fall. But soon, the snowfall rate would exceed an inch per hour. As the snow began to pile up quickly, workplaces and schools sent people home early. As these people flooded out onto the roadways, plows became unable to handle the rapidly accumulating snow due to heavy congestion. Soon, more and more cars became stuck in the snow, turning almost every major highway into a parking lot. On Route 128 in Massachusetts alone, over 3000 vehicles were stranded in the piles of snow.

Stranded motorists had a difficult choice to make: they could remain in their cars and risk freezing to death, or they could set out on foot and risk becoming lost in the whiteout conditions. Neither choice proved to be a good option. As many as 14 people were reported to have been killed as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from clogged exhaust pipes, while several others were found dead in the deep snow in the days that followed.

Miles to the east of the gridlocked streets and highways, a different story was playing out in coastal communities. Near the coast, where it was a bit warmer, the snow mixed with rain at times, greatly reducing the total accumulation. But, instead of heavy snow being the problem there, it was the strong winds and storm surge.

Hurricane was devastating too

During the height of the storm, hurricane force wind gusts of 112 mph in Scituate, MA, 93 mph in Chatham, and 79 mph in Boston were recorded. These incredibly strong winds pushed ocean water onto the shore, causing severe coastal flooding. This problem was only exasperated by the astronomical high tide occurring during the height of the storm.

As the ocean rose as high as 14 feet over the typical high tide level, thousands of seaside homes were inundated with water and pounded by gigantic waves. This scene played out in nearly every town on the eastern shores of Massachusetts, with communities like Scituate, Plymouth, and Bourne all sustaining heavy losses. Nearly 2000 homes were completely destroyed. Dozens of boats also broke free of their moorings and came crashing into the flooded towns, becoming totally wrecked.

By the evening of Tuesday February 7th, however, the ocean began to recede and the snowfall began to die down. Southern New England could now begin to pick up the pieces left behind by this monster storm.

The record amounts of snow

The snow totals were staggering, and many of the records set have remained unbroken for more than 30 years. Providence’s T.F. Green Airport recorded a whopping 28.4 inches of snow, while 27.1″ fell in Boston. In northern Rhode Island, which bore the brunt of the heavy snow, well over 3 feet fell in spots. An incredible 55 inches of accumulation was reported in the Providence suburb of Lincoln, with wind-blown drifts reaching up to 27 feet high.

In total, the storm caused 520 million dollars in damages. Due to inflation, that number would be over 1.5 billion today. In a tragic footnote, 99 people died as a result of the storm: 73 in Massachusetts and 26 in Rhode Island.

All of the snow also took days to remove, especially with thousands of abandoned cars clogging the roadways. Some streets remained unplowed for up to a week as crews struggled with the cleanup. Students also remained out of school until at least the next Monday.

Slowly but surely however, the region began to recover

Streets were dug out one-by-one, largely by the work of volunteers. By the next Monday, one week after the snow had begun to fall, both Boston and Providence reopened for business. Finally, in what is perhaps an ironic twist, the snow that fell on those two days ended up being the only accumulating snow for the entire month.

Today, the memory of that great blizzard remains engrained in the minds of the people affected. Though there is little doubt that another storm like it will one day come, the lessons learned that year make another catastrophe unlikely.