Sunday, March 31, 2013

House and garden

click photo to enlarge
Like most Lincolnshire towns Spalding has many buildings of architectural and historic importance. Anyone with an eye for architectural history cannot fail to find a walk around the centre of the town and its periphery a rewarding experience. A medieval church, the remains of abbey buildings, old inns, warehouses, Georgian terraces, individual houses and Sir George Gilbert Scott's last church, are just a few of the delights the informed visitor will find. However, though the eighteenth century is very well represented the seventeenth century is less so. This is true in much of Britain, of course, but in Lincolnshire the relative prosperity of the eighteenth century meant that many buildings of a century earlier were either replaced or, very often, re-modelled. The pitch of a roof, a stepped wall, a painted over piece of structural timber or a centrally placed chimney (as opposed to later gable chimneys) are just some of the clues that an older building lurks beneath an eighteenth century facelift.

But, on Albion Street, a route that parallels the River Welland on the north-eastern edge of the town centre, an early seventeenth century house that received little in the way of "modernising" can be found standing behind its small, formal, front garden of geometric, dwarf box hedges. It was built in the early 1600s on what has been described as a "flattened H plan". "Willesby" has characteristic English bond brick walls with alternating courses of headers and stretchers. The mullioned two, three and four-light windows are framed in dressed stone. Stone is also used for the doorway (a Victorian restoration), the lowest courses of the walls, for the quoins that unusually don't extend the full height of wall corners, and for the "kneelers" and gable coping. A plain tile roof tops the building. It is a well-presented house that illustrates a type that can be found in many parts of eastern England in both town and country.

In summer the main fa├žade is clothed with the greenery of the climbers and surrounding shrubs. On the dull, end of March day of my photograph, however, the lateness of this year's spring meant that much was still visible to the curious passer-by.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 20.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On