This is the architecture associated with the English Tudor dynasty (1485-1603) in which we see a transition from late Medieval or Gothic forms of architecture to the incorporation of elements from Renaissance architecture seen in France, the Netherlands and Italy. It ranges from the vernacular architecture of ordinary houses, barns and stables to the fantastical conceits of the prodigy houses of Elizabethan England, such as Hardwick and Longleat. Brick was the main building material, especially in domestic architecture for manor houses and grand country houses, but timber construction was also common. The brick would often be patterned creating diamond shapes referred to as diaper-work. Other elements which evolved from late Gothic architecture were flattened versions of the pointed Gothic arch (known as the Tudor arch), also straight-headed mullioned windows with arched lights, hoodmoulds and label stops, and over doors. Rooflines were characterised by steep gables and tall chimneys of carved and moulded brick often asymmetrically placed. Towards the end of the period many aspects of Flemish and French architecture, particularly Fontainebleu, were integrated via sources from printed books.
What to look for in a tudor building:
- Steep gables
- Mullioned windows
- Tall chimneys
- Timber construction
Article by Suzanne Waters
British Architectural Library, RIBA
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