Georgian houses - the children’s drawings everybody wants to live in
Ask a child to draw a house and the chances are they’ll draw something Georgian. Not intentionally, of course – unless your offspring is unusually precocious – but simply because those symmetrical boxes they doodle coincidentally share their looks with what is almost certainly the nation’s favourite architectural style.
The Georgian period stretched across the reigns of the four Hanoverian kings named George – 1714 to 1830 – and saw the Enlightenment, the Atlantic slave trade and its eventual abolition, the Industrial Revolution, the burgeoning influence of the newly formed Great Britain, the Napoleonic Wars, and the birth of an empire that would grow rapidly in the subsequent Victorian era.
It was a time of immense change and dynamism, and its architecture reflected that sense of modernity, while also borrowing its ruling aesthetic from Classical Greece and Rome.
It is characterised by proportion and balance; simple mathematical ratios were used to determine, say, the height of a window in relation to its width, or room shapes based on cuboid forms.
Today’s trend for incorporating large expanses of glass into modern properties is nothing new – the Georgians were doing it 250 years ago, building houses with huge sash windows that let more light inside than had ever been seen before in British homes.
The result is high-ceilinged, pleasingly spacious and airy, and because these homes were built by people of means, those that survive tend to be sizeable, lending themselves to the notion of fine living.
There are lots of beautiful Georgian homes all across our area – Ripon, Boroughbridge, Wetherby and Boston Spa all have concentrations of them – and the following three are some of the best currently on the market.
Langthorpe Manor, just north of the River Ure from Boroughbridge, is a Grade II listed building that comes with a two-bed garden flat and a two-storey, two-bed cottage that are both currently used as holiday lets. The main house has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, entrance hall, large breakfast kitchen, utility room, three reception rooms and cellars. Outside, there are garages for several cars, gardens, a tennis court, greenhouse and garden shed.
Not far away, Manor Farm at Roecliffe is another Grade II listed property, and has a fantastic neighbouring party/entertainment barn. The house has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, entrance hall, breakfast kitchen, utility room, study, and five reception rooms. Outside, there is a double garage, workshop and various stores, all set in nearly an acre of gardens and grounds.
Finally, Danby House is also a Grade II listed building, dating from the early 19th century, and overlooks the Ripon Canal. It has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, boot room, study and four reception rooms. There are also south-facing landscaped gardens, a west-facing walled garden, terracing, summerhouse, garden store and off-street parking on the gravel drive.