Queen Anne Style architecture: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool, of 1717, in a version of the original Queen Anne style
For the Queen Anne Style in the United States see: Queen Anne Style architecture (United States)
This article is about the architectural style. There is also a Queen Anne style of furniture design.

The Queen Anne Style in Britain means either the English Baroque architectural style roughly of the reign of Queen Anne (1702-14), or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. [1] The historic reference in the name should not be taken too literally, as buildings in the Queen Anne style can bear as little resemblance to English buildings of the 1700s as those of any revival style to the original. What is called the "Queen Anne style" in other parts of the English-speaking world, especially the United States and Australia, is completely different.


19th Century Queen Anne

County Hall, Wakefield, designed by architects James Glen Sivewright Gibson and Samuel Russell in 1894.

The Queen Anne Style of British architecture in the 1870s (the industrial age) was popularized by George Devey and the better-known Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912). Norman Shaw published a book of architectural sketches as early as 1858, and his evocative pen-and-ink drawings began to appear in trade journals and artistic magazines in the 1870s. American commercial builders were quick to pick up the style.

Shaw's eclectic designs often included Tudor elements, and this "Old English" style became popular in the United States, where it became known as the Queen Anne style (although this was not historically accurate). Confusion between buildings constructed during the reign of Queen Anne and the "Queen Anne" Style still persists, especially in England. The well known architectural commentator and author Marcus Binney, writing in the London Times in 2006, describes "Poulton House" built in 1706, during the reign of Queen Anne, as "...Queen Anne at its most delightful".[2] Binney lists what he describes as the typical features of the style: a sweep of steps leading to a carved stone door-case; rows of painted sash windows in boxes set flush with the brickwork; stone quoins emphasising corners; a central triangular pediment set against a hipped roof with dormers; typically box-like "double pile" plans, two rooms deep. In the late 1850s, the name "Queen Anne" was in the air, following publication in 1852 of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne.

One minor side effect of Thackeray's novel and Norman Shaw's freehand picturesque vernacular Renaissance survives to this day. When, in the early 1870s, Chinese-inspired Early Georgian furniture on cabriole legs, featuring smooth expanses of walnut, and chairs with flowing lines and slat backs began to be looked for in out-of-the-way curio shops (Macquoid 1904), the style was mis-attributed to the reign of Queen Anne, and the "Queen Anne" misnomer has stuck to this day, in American as well as English furniture style designations. (Even the most stylish and up-to-date furnishings of the historical reign of Queen Anne, as inventories reveal, was in a style that would be immediately identified now as "William and Mary.")

The British Victorian version of the style is closer in empathy to the Arts and Crafts movement than its American counterpart. A good example is Severalls Hospital in Colchester, Essex (1913-1997), now defunct. The historic precedents of the Queen Anne style were broad: fine brickwork, often in a warmer, softer finish than the Victorians were characteristically using, varied with terracotta panels, or tile-hung upper stories, with crisply painted white woodwork, or blond limestone detailing; oriel windows, often stacked one above another, corner towers, asymmetrical fronts and picturesque massing, Flemish mannerist sunken panels of strapwork, deeply shadowed entrances, broad porches: a domesticated free Renaissance style.

When an open architectural competition was announced in 1892, for a County Hall (see photo, right) to be built in Wakefield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the instructions to competitors noted that "the style of architecture will be left to the competitors but the Queen Anne or Renaissance School of Architecture appears suited to an old town like Wakefield" (ref. Wakefield). The executed design, by James Gibson and Samuel Russell, architects of London, combines a corner turret, grandly domed and with gargoyles at the angles, freely combined with Flemish Renaissance stepped gables.

In the 20th century an elegant version of the style was used by Edwin Lutyens and others, usually with red brick walls contrasting with pale stone details.

Australian Queen Anne Style

Queen Anne styled mansion located in South Yarra, Victoria.

In Australia, the Queen Anne style was absorbed into the Federation style, which was, broadly speaking, the Australian equivalent of the Edwardian style, derived from the influence of Richard Norman Shaw,[3] an influential British architect of the late Victorian era. The Federation period went from 1890 to 1915 and included twelve styles, one of which was the Federation Queen Anne. This became the most popular style for homes built between 1890 and 1910.[4] The style often utilised Tudor-style woodwork and elaborate fretwork that replaced the Victorian taste for wrought iron. Verandahs were usually a feature, as were the image of the rising sun and Australian wildlife; plus circular windows, turrets and towers with conical or pyramid-shaped roofs.

A Queen Anne Style home located on Appian Way in the Burwood suburb of Sydney.

The first Queen Anne home in Australia was Caerleon, in the suburb of Bellevue Hill, New South Wales.[5] Caerleon was designed initially by a Sydney architect, Harry Chambers Kent, but was then substantially reworked in London by Maurice Adams.[6] This led to some controversy over who deserved the credit. The house was built in 1885 and was the precursor for the Federation Queen Anne homes that were to become so popular.

Caerleon was followed soon after by West Maling, in the suburb of Penshurst, New South Wales, and Annesbury, in the suburb of Ashfield, New South Wales, both built circa 1888. These houses, although built around the same time, had distinct styles, West Maling displaying a strong Tudor influence that was not present in Annesbury. The style soon became increasingly popular, appealing predominantly to reasonably well-off people with an "Establishment" leaning.[7]

The style as it developed in Australia was highly eclectic, blending Queen Anne elements with various Australian influences. Old English characteristics like ribbed chimneys and gabled roofs were combined with Australian elements like encircling verandahs, designed to keep the sun out. One outstanding example of this eclectic approach is Urrbrae House, Adelaide, South Australia, part of the Waite Institute. Another variation with connections to the Federation Queen Anne style was the Federation Bungalow, featuring prominent verandahs. This style generally incorporated familiar Queen Anne elements, but usually in simplified form.

Caerleon, located in the Bellevue Hill community of Sydney, was the first Queen Anne Style home constructed in Australia.

Some prominent examples are:[8]

  • West Maling, Penshurst Avenue, Penshurst, Sydney
  • Homes, Appian Way, Burwood, Sydney
  • Caerleon, Bellevue Hill Sydney (sold for $22 million in January 2008)[9]
  • Annesbury, Alt Street, Ashfield
  • Weld Club, Barrack Street, Perth
  • ANZ Bank, Queens Parade, Fitzroy North, Melbourne
  • Campion College, Studley Park Road, Kew, Melbourne

See also


  1. ^ Cambridge Encyclopedia, Crystal (Cambridge University Press) 1994, p.69
  2. ^ The Times, "Bricks and Mortar" Supplement, 5 May 2006, pp.6-7.
  3. ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Apperly (Angus and Robertson) 1994, p.132
  4. ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, p.132
  5. ^ The Federation House, Hugh Fraser (New Holland) 2002, p.24
  6. ^ Sydney Architecture, Graham Jahn (Watermark Press) 1997, p.62
  7. ^ The Federation House, p.22
  8. ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, pp.132-135
  9. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, January 25th 2008, page 3

Further reading

  • Girouard, Mark, Sweetness and Light: The Queen Anne Movement, 1860-1900, Yale University Press, 1984. The primary survey of the movement.
  • Macquoid, Percy, Age of Walnut, 1904.
  • Vincent J. Scully Jr, The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Downing to the Origins of Wright, revised edition, Yale University Press, 1971.
  • Rifkind, Carole. A Field Guide to American Architecture. Penguin Books, New York, 1980.
  • Whiffen, Marcus. American Architecture Since 1780, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.

External links



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