King James I succeeded Queen Elizabeth as the monarch of England. It was very natural that the Jacobean era borrowed a lot of things from the Elizabethan era. In most of the Jacobean architecture or even furniture will have a striking resemblance of the glorious era that preceded it.
Jacobean houses in England essentially comprised of elements like flat roofs, windows bay with mullioned windows, gables, long gallery, Tudor arches, etc. In most of the houses, the traditional entrance hall was built in such a way that it was perpendicular to the entrance of the building. Wooden staircases were also a crucial feature of the Jacobean houses.
One distinct feature of the Jacobean architecture was the use of columns. During the Jacobean era, the French and Flemish architecture proved to be a vital source of influence. Some of the houses like those of the royals, aristocrats, etc had courtyards which were beautifully decorated.
About Jacobean Houses
When we speak about houses, the flooring forms a significant part of the homes. In the Jacobean days, flooring of the house was made using wood. Oak, Ebony, Walnut, Hardwood were some of the commonly used materials. In order to avoid giving a dull look to the floorings, several flooring patterns were available for the people to choose from.
Oak flooring was available in red and white. These colours really added a different theme to the house. Jacobean flooring was primarily dark and brown. The dark flooring pattern went well with the furniture of the house. Such flooring was easy to manage but needed regular polishing and care.
Jacobean homes were made to display the wealth of its inhabitants and the townhouses were no exception. They had a high ceiling, beautiful stoneworks on the gaudy frame and beautifully designed floors. They were smaller than mansions and were made for small families.
The houses often had pilasters or columns and arches, beautifully designed to display the grandeur.
Jacobean Country Houses
The Country Houses of the Jacobean era refers to the huge manors of the early 17th century. They were made by the wealthy class of the Jacobean period in the countryside for holidays and vacations. Prodigy houses were the common themes of architecture chosen in this era.
These were luxurious houses built for the royalties of England or the members of the court. Although the middle-class houses of the time were made of wood, the wealthy classes could afford to make bricks and stones. They were used as the construction materials for the country houses.
The colour of the building was that of the material used. The interiors often contained noble materials such as granite and marbles.
In Jacobean houses, symmetry was a very important aspect. There were several layers of symmetrical wings in the layout of the houses. It gave birth to the H and U shaped buildings. The facades were made with a base level and the main floor for social gatherings and an upper level for a private residence.
The Jacobean architecture contained the Palladian classical order. Columns and pilasters were very common. They were included in the houses for the purpose of decoration rather than structural support. In case of big manors, arches were made along the facade to support the hallway’s roof.
The Jacobean stately homes in England often had Flemish gable roofs and sometimes, a combination of gable roofs and flat roofs. The central area had a particular roof while the surrounding areas had a different design of roofs.
The roofs were surrounded by low walls or fences. They were known as parapets and were ornamentally built. In English Jacobean houses, staircases were considered a focal point of the building. They were located in the centre and connected the various parts of the house.
Large staircases were built which were truly a work of art and designed to impress people.
Famous Jacobean Houses
Some famous Jacobean houses are:
- Wollaton Hall
- Holland House in Kensington
- Bramshill House in Hampshire
- Hatfield House
- Knole House
- Crewe Hall
- Bank Hall, Bretherton
- Castle Bromwich Hall.