elizabethan architecture


Robert Smythson, High Great Chamber (Hardwick Hall, Shrewsbery, England), 1591-97

At Hardwick Hall, a sequence of rooms leads to a grand staircase up to the Long Gallery and High Great Chamber on the second floor. This room, where the countess received guests, entertained and sometimes dines, was designed to display a set of Brussels tapestries with the story of Ulysses. The room had enormous windows, ornate fireplaces, and richly carved and painted plaster frieze around the room. The frieze, by the master Abraham Smith, depict Diana and her maiden hunter in a forest where the pursue stags and boars. Near the window bay, the frieze depicts an allegory on the seasons: Venus and Cupid represent spring, Ceres represents the summer. (Marilyn Stokstad, Art History, Volume Two. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008, 724).


Autumn by penelope fewster
Via Flickr:
After overnight storms and more very high winds due again tonight, it feels like a stay at home Sunday. How many leaves will be left on those trees today? Probably mostly in the pond by now! And certainly no bright sunshine this morning. That’s what I love about photography, the ability to bottle that ephemeral moment.


4,000 Houses for 4,000 Followers: No. 73:

Gawthorpe Hall, Lanchashire, England. 

A majority of the house dates from the Elizabethan period, although there are some later additions. 

It is now run by the National Trust. 


Montacute House is a late Elizabethan country house in South Somerset. It is a good example of English architecture during a period that was moving from Gothic to Renaissance Classical. The house was built in about 1598 by Sir Edward Phelips, Master of the Rolls. Until the early 20th century, descendants of Sir Edward Phelips have occupied the house. After that the house was let to tenants until 1927 when it was acquired by the National Trust. The house has also been used as filming location. For example several scenes of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibilty (1995 adaptation) were filmed here.

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Hardwick Hall is an Elizabethan country house in Derbyshire. The house was built between 1590 and 1597 for Bess of Hardwick. It was designed by architect Robert Smythson. Hardwick Hall is one of the earliest examples of the English interpretation of the Renaissance style. Bess of Hardwick (Countess of Shrewsbury) was the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I. She also started the building project of Chatsworth House (at the time she was the wife of Sir William Cavendish). Her house was conceived to be a conspicuous statement of the wealt and power. The windows are exceptionally large and numerous for that period, leading to the saying: ‘Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall’. After Bess’s death, the house passed on to her son William Cavendish, 1st earl of Devonshire (who’s great-grandson will become the 1st Duke of Devonshire). Now the house is in ownership of the National Trust. The exteriors of the house were used as the ‘Malfoy Manor’ in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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Longleat - Wiltshire, England

Made up of 16,000 English Yew Trees, the Longleat maze is the longest in Britain. It can take 90 minutes to complete. The maze is lcoated on Longleat Estate, a stately home belonging to the Marquesses of Bath. It was one of the first great English homes to be open to the public, and is one of the greatest examples of Elizabethan architecture. 

Another popular activity at Longleat is the safari park, featuring elephants, tigers, monkeys and rhino. The safari park opened in 1966, and was the first drive through safari park established outside of Africa. 

The Signs as Architecture
  • Aries: Romanesque architecture. Sprawling manors, dusty curved windows, hallways that have no end
  • Taurus: Elizabethan architecture. Geometric windows, palaces with an abundance of mysterious wings, elaborately carved staircases
  • Gemini: Plateresque architecture. Massive hand carved columns, ornate decorative facades, floral carvings that span the entire building
  • Cancer: French Renaissance architecture. Sand coloured chateaus on a hilltop, elaborate roofscape designs, lavish internal furnishing
  • Leo: Portuguese Renaissance architecture. Massive rounded ceilings so far up you get dizzy looking, intricate decorative designs that flow down the wall, the imposing Cathedral
  • Virgo: French Colonial architecture. Storybook cottages on the river, canary yellow walls and off white crown moulding, paper lanterns hanging off the veranda
  • Libra: Sicilian Baroque architecture. Marble curves and flourishes, imposing gateways guarded by hand carved statues, elegant wrought iron balconies overlooking the city
  • Scorpio: Gothic architecture. Perfectly pointed arches, large stained glass windows, omniscient towers, the run down Cathedral covered in ivy.
  • Sagittarius: Beaux-Arts architecture. Sculptures of Roman gods and goddesses watch the gates, massive arched windows, richly detailed murals and mosaics
  • Capricorn: Greek Revival architecture. Colossal columns lit up with light from below, extremely lavish internal designs and furnishings, the rich widows palace beyond the gates
  • Aquarius: Russian Neoclassical Revival architecture. Brightly coloured facades, luxury mansions, geometric shapes and clean surfaces
  • Pisces: Mediterranean Revival architecture. Tropical palaces and villas, stuccoed walls and red tiled roofs, lush gardens around the corner

Burghley House is a grand 16th-century country house in Lincolnshire. Burghley House was built for Sir William Cecil (later 1st Baron Burghley), who was Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. it was subsequently the residence of his descendants, the earls and, since 1801, the Marquesses of Exeter.

The house is one of the main examples of stonemasonry and proportion in 16th century English Elizabethan architecture. Is has a suite of rooms remodeled in the baroque style with carvings by Grinling Gibbons. In the 17th century, the open loggias around the ground floor were enclosed. The house was originally built in the shape of the letter E in honour of Queen Elizabeth, but now it is missing its north-west wing.

Burghley House has been featured in several films including Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Da Vinci Code.

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