Thursday, June 25, 2015

Popular house names

click photo to enlarge
In 1988 the Halifax Building Society concluded from a study of its computer database of 15 million investors that the most common house name in Britain was "The Bungalow" with 4,485 properties carrying this very boring designation. In second place was the equally uninspiring, "The Cottage", with 4,049 references, and third was the slightly more colourful, "Rose Cottage", with 2,936 properties given that name.

Tradition weighs heavy in the name that houses are given, and once given they tend to linger. I have the complete list of the 150 or so most frequently used names, and I have to say that I must have seen most of them at one time or another and none are surprising. Such names tend to be descriptive in one way or another. "The School House" is fourth in the list and always refers to a house that was formerly the abode of a teacher or headteacher when such jobs came with living accommodation."The Vicarage" (in 12th place) is a name that arose in similar circumstances though that name usually implies that the local cleric still uses it as his (or her) home, with "The Old Vicarage" usually indicating a former vicar's residence, often sold because it was too large and too expensive for the church to maintain. Trees abound in house names - "The Hawthorns", "Oak Dene", "Beech House", "Conifers" and "Holly Cottage" are just a few arboreal names found in the list. The building's location is another favoured hook on which to hang a name - "Windy Ridge", "Brookfield", "The Mount", "Fair View" and "Corner Cottage" are examples.

Today's photograph could well be from a "Rose Cottage" because properties with that name frequently feature a climbing rose near the main entrance, around a window or on a sunny wall. However, it is a second photograph from my visit to Lower Brockhampton Manor House in Herefordshire. You can see the rose on the left of the main building in my photograph of the other day.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 30mm (60mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On