Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The "Surrey Style" in Hove.




In the closing decades of the 19thC sources as diverse as the writings of William Morris and the cottage paintings of Helen Allingham had created an idealised version of country life in the collective Victorian mind.  Wealthy Londoners, encouraged by the expansion of railway lines serving the capital, began to look beyond metroland to the hills and woodlands of Surrey for their retirement homes. In what was then a mainly rural county the supply of suitable properties was limited and they turned to architects such as Lutyens (influenced by Gertude Jekyll), Falkner, Bailey and Nevill to help fulfil their rural idyll. 

Apprised of their clients' domestic and comfort needs the architects turned to the Surrey vernacular for inspiration and found it in the various combinations of red-brick, red-tiles and the occasional timber framing. The Surrey style was born. Unaccountably what later came to signpost the Surrey Style were  imposing chimneys which, whatever decorative features they incorporated, were always large.

The architect of 11 Grand Avenue, Hove, was A. Faulkner. It was built by William Willett, 1900-1903. The manner in which it has, over the years, withstood the ravages of time in what is quite an exposed location bears witness to the quality of the build. It is Grade II listed with Historic England.

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