An Exploration of Jacobean Era Architecture

Jacobean Era Architecture

In the late sixteenth century, James I became King of England. He also witnessed the rise of modern architectural concepts that merged the previous style with elements from Europe. A new technique was developed and named after him as it was one of the few instances in English architecture in which the class was so precise as to be defined by its period.. The style of artistic expression, called Jacobean, evolved within Great Britain during the last decade of the sixteenth century and the beginning in the late 17th century during the reign of King James I. It is considered the second half of the Renaissance period of British architecture, following the Elizabethan style. It was later replaced with newer techniques, such as English Baroque ones. Jacobean architecture is regarded as a reinforcing of Elizabethan notions. The Renaissance ideas came to England during this time; however, they were interpretations of various influences originating most often from Holland. Inigo Jones became the first pioneer of the strict Italian style. He studied the architecture of Italy and introduced Palladian ideas on architecture. (Andrea Palladio was a prominent Italian architect during the Renaissance). Jones’ views were mixed with French and Flemish elements within the Jacobean style, giving buildings distinct local characteristics.

Architecture Styles

When we think of the Jacobean architecture of the time, people usually imagine Shakespearean theater and how the plays of Shakespeare depicted the architectural style of the time. Based on his plays, it is possible to imagine the most popular design elements during this time, like roofs, turrets, and gables, as well as windows, flat roofs with mullioned windows, as well as extruded corners. It is also possible to imagine grand and intricately sculptured staircases, the use of classical designs as ornamentation that was imposed, and the interior design options which included fireplaces, other materials such as mother of pearl, and furniture that was crafted in increasingly rich colors and fine particulars. Here are a few examples of the architecture of the time.

1. Castle Bromwich Hall – Castle Bromwich, West Midlands County, England

The house was built in 1599 by Sir Edward Devereux; Castle Bromwich Hall is a Jacobean mansion that was continuously constructed from 1599 to 1710 when Sir John Bridgeman II extended the Hall and rebuilt it with the local clay hand-crafted bricks. The location has now become an attraction for tourists due to the house’s style and its Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, which are the only surviving gardens representing the 18th-century English official garden.

2. The Black and White House Museum (formerly The Old House, Hereford) – High Town, Hereford, England

The Black and White House Museum (formerly named The Old House, Hereford) was constructed in 1621 as part of Butchers Row. It is the only remaining original house within the row, with more modern structures surrounding it. In 1929 the Old House became a museum that focuses on the life of Jacobean times. The interior was designed with the look of the time and continues as an art gallery open to visitors to this day.

3. Crewe Hall – Crewe Green, Cheshire, England

Crewe Hall Crewe Hall was built in 1615-36 by an unidentified architect, but there is speculation that it was the creation of Inigo Jones. In 1866, a fire broke out, forcing the building to endure a massive reconstruction. Although the work was required, the interior was still adorned with Jacobean influence in the carvings on wood chimney pieces, chimneys, and plasterwork. Through the many changes in the ownership of the house, it was largely Jacobean. It comprises original Jacobean work and copies of original Jacobean designs. The home has now become a hotel that offers a variety of amenities to guests like tennis courts, conference rooms, spas, gyms, and saunas. If you’re planning a wedding, the park and Hall are not accessible to the general public.

4.Audley End – Essex

The house was once considered “the archetypical” Jacobean house, and the Audley End House in Essex was constructed in 1708 by Earl Suffolk and his uncle. The house is currently just one-third its original size, as the central court was destroyed in 1708 while the east part was demolished in 1753. The residence is open for tours, and visits are available to look at the architectural features. The main focus of the Jacobean period was interior design. Mother of pearls and Wood materials were utilized to decorate rooms, while marine-themed plans were prominent in the design. In the photo below, this room is adorned with an elaborate ceiling, and the carving on the mantel is a reference to the marine theme. While ornaments were made more straightforward and furniture became more extensive, more durable, and, ultimately, more comfortable because of the introduction of cushioned furniture.

5.Blickling Hall – North Norfolk

Blickling Hall is a Jacobean manor constructed to honor Sir Henry Hobart. It later came into ownership to the Boleyn Family and has since changed ownership. You can now take tours around the house; if you’re lucky, you might even meet ghosts! Blickling Hall has become less well-known for its architecture and is more famous because of the myth that three ghosts roam the halls, with the famed Anne Boleyn being one of the three.

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