In Britain, we’re privileged to be surrounded by a rich and extensive architectural history. These unique buildings offer us a wealth of inspiration when it comes to design in both architecture and interiors, and also in furniture. Looking to the past enables us to create classic looks that stand the test of time.
In particular, we have paid attention to designs from the Victorian era. It is astonishing just what an influence that era of craft and design has had on our approach to product design and manufacture, right up to the present today.
During the industrial boom of the Victorian era, building boomed as houses were needed for the rapidly increasing population. As well as housing the workers, those fortunate enough to be profiting from the industrial surge demanded fashionably grand manors and estates, the likes of which will never be seen again.
However, due mostly to a lack of funds, parts of Britain’s important Victorian heritage are at risk of disappearing altogether. Every year The Victorian Society publishes its list of the Top Ten Most Endangered Buildings in England and Wales. These buildings are facing a very real threat of falling so into disrepair that they will demolished imminently. We are featuring a few of these once magnificent Victorian buildings and structures, in the hope that they will one day be restored to their former glory to be enjoyed once again.
Ladywell Baths, Lewisham (1884)
The stand out feature of this former bathhouse if a three story high circular tower (now missing its turret) but that’s not all. The splendid gothic arches, stained glass windows, intricate decorative iron work and it’s own 8,000 gallon an hour well, make this a unique piece of Victorian heritage. The baths are owned by Lewisham Council but have not been in use for many decades.
Madeira Terrace, Brighton (1890-97)
As iconic a part of the Brighton seafront as the pebbles and the pier, the Victorian terrace is said to be the world’s longest cast iron structure. It needs urgent repairs to the metalwork, but without funds is at risk of being torn down and replaced in its entirety.
Kinmel Hall, Conwy (1870)
Known as the “Welsh Versailles”, with a façade 500ft long, this incredible Grad I listed mansion retains its original Victorian features inside and out, including intricately decorated fireplaces, cornices and ceiling roses. It was once visited by Queen Victoria during her reign. The mansion has fallen into disrepair as it has not been in constant use since the 1990s.
Overstone Hall, Northampton (1860)
As well as highly decorative Victorian features, Overstone Hall is also recognised as being the first building to have an early form of cavity wall insulation, something that all buildings benefit from today. With half of it gutted in a fire in a fire in 2001, the future of the remaining structure is uncertain.
The Victorian Society comes in. They are dedicated to saving Victorian and Edwardian buildings for future generations to enjoy and to cherish for many more generations to come.