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Queen Anne

Queen Anne.
1. Period of English architecture during the reign of Queen Anne (1702–14), when the English Baroque style of Wren, Vanbrugh, Archer, and Hawksmoor came to maturity, notably with Vanbrugh's Blenheim Palace, Oxon. (1705–25), and Hawksmoor's London churches (e.g. Christ Church, Spital-fields of 1714–29). Domestic architecture of the time was derived from Carolean and Dutch precedents: in London, for example, houses were mainly faced with red brick, had tall sash-windows and canopy-like timber door-cases, while roofs became flatter and hidden behind parapets. Plainness and dignified restraint marked the domestic architecture in Britain and the American Colonies, and were influential virtues appreciated by later generations, especially from c.1860 to c.1890 and again in C20.

2. The Queen Anne style or Revival evolved from the 1860s, and was not really what its label suggests. Some details were derived from C17 and C18 English and Flemish domestic architecture, but eclectic motifs were drawn from many sources: they included tall white-painted small-paned sash-windows with rubbed-brick arches and dressings over and around openings, terracotta embellishments, open-bed and broken pediments, steeply pitched roofs (often rising from eaves-cornices), monumental chimneys, shaped and Dutch gables, white-painted balustrades, balconies, and bay-windows. Such architectural elements were combined with a new freedom of asymmetrical and informal planning derived from the Gothic Revival and the ideas of A. W. N. Pugin. In the hands of architects such as G. F. Bodley, W. E. Nesfield, R. N. Shaw, J. J. Stevenson, and Philip Webb, the style evolved and began to incorporate elements from vernacular architecture (e.g. tile-hung gabled walls with barge-boards, clap-boarding, and casement-windows with leaded lights). Such developments led to the adoption of the term Domestic Revival, while buildings in which Classical motifs predominated were referred to as examples of Free Classicism or the Northern Renaissance Revival. It should be emphasized that the so-called Queen Anne style was not a purist scholarly revival, as aspects of the Gothic and Greek Revivals had been, but essentially eclectic, drawing on a wide range of motifs from various periods and regions. It affected domestic architecture in the USA as well, often merging with the Colonial Revival. Professor Crook has called it ‘a flexible urban argot’, which is as close a description as one can get to capture its flavour.


Crook (1987);
D&M (1985);
Girouard (1977);
A. S. Gray (1985)

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