Imagine a quaint, cozy home covered in winding creepers. A dreamlike scent of flowers and fresh-baked cakes, the cacophony of birds and insects, fireflies that lit up the night in the lush fields that ripen every summer in a warm countryside. Sound like something straight out of a scene in Sense and sensibility, but the quaint, cozy home in the backdrop of this imagery—commonly known as an English cottage—is as complex as it is charming in both its history and typologies.
Characterized by its thatched roofs, rich timber frames, and delicate leaded windows, the English cottage is found dotted across the globe as an astute part of the colonial history of their adopted nations.
Here are 15 such examples of English Cottage around the globe that will definitely make you awestruck!
1. Blakesley Hall, Birmingham, England
Draped in an oak herringbone pattern over a white painted lime render, the Blakesley Hall is the oldest building in Birmingham. Having been a private residence till 1935, the hall is a shining example of the Tudor architecture of the age.
Proudly sporting its extensive close studding, it was built as a timber-framed farmhouse in 1590, designed to showcase the wealth and status of the family. After suffering bombing damage during World War I, the hall was restored to its authentic appearance and has resumed its adopted role as a community
2. Bramall hall, Bramhall, England
The stark contrasts of white and oak with the stately chevrons and quatrefoils they make are a statement of this historic Tudor manor. With the oldest regions of the hall dating back to the 14th century, it is a classic example of the myriad architectural styles and technological advances the Tudor period brought.
Being an authentic Tudor Manor, the Bramall Hall is a post-and-beam timber construction with mortise and tenon joints and oak pegs and is planned around a central hall with extensions added to the original design until the 19th century. Timber clad from floor to ceiling, the interiors keep true to the house and proudly display the timber frame and white painted wattle and daub in the central hall. It is truly a relic of the age it belongs.
3. Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, England
The Little Moreton Hall (also, Old Moreton Hall), as quoted by Sir Simon Jenkins, is a “Marvel of Medieval Carpentry.” The construction of this moated half-timber Manor is astutely medieval in design. Its form consists of three highly irregular and asymmetrical ranges spun around a cobbled courtyard at the heart of the house.
With virtually non-existent corridors, every room leads to another with interspersed stairways leading to the upper levels. All lavishly lit with the ornately leaded windows and extravagant glass the Manor boasts of. A 10m wide moat encloses the estate, and a herringbone embossed coving hides the overhanging jetties—a typical Cheshire feature of the age.
4. Gawsworth Old Hall, Cheshire, England
Standing proudly in the old village of Gawsworth in Cheshire, England, this timber-framed house is a typical design of the Cheshire black and white tradition. With most of the house now sadly demolished, the now U-shaped plan is predicted to be the remnants of a courtyard house that enclosed a quadrangle.
A mere glance at the stately studding and grand Kerridge sandstone roofs of the Gawsworth Old Hall commands feelings of respect and reverence. While the dramatic bay window extending both storeys and the ample leaded windows of the facade bring an airy lightness to the otherwise imposing structure.
5. Ascott House, Buckinghamshire, England
Showcasing the classic Tudor revival architecture movement with the aesthetic amalgamation of English Country styles, The Ascott House was built as a rural retreat for the English Rothschild family.
Initially used as a hunting box, its modest extents soon became a hindrance for the family. It was then that architect George Davey was employed to oversee the expansion of the estate, which encompassed the remainder of the century. A prolific frontrunner for the Arts and Crafts movement, the architect developed a style to retain the rustic ambiance of the structure. This ensured that without imitating the characters of eras bygone, the house would still resonate with a rich past while retaining a unique identity.
6. Pashley manor, Wadhurst, England
Topped with long brick chimneys and draped in elegant emerald studding, the Pashley manor radiates a stately warmth uncommon to most Tudor manors.
Built in the year 1540 by Sir Thomas May, the building retains its Tudor front. Originally built as a hunting lodge, the manor now boasts of England’s best-kept gardens. A Georgian addition to the rear of the Tudor manor acts as a backdrop to the famed gardens. Seeped in its rich history and the vibrant fragrances of its garden, the house also finds itself covered in elegant wisterias that grow abutting the rear facade, truly reminiscent of the affluent escape it once was.
7. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Warwickshire, England
The childhood home of William Shakespeare’s wife, The Anne Hathaway Cottage, is a twelve roomed farmhouse in the quaint village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England. A classic example of vernacular Tudor architecture, Hewlands Farm (as it was known then).
One of the most delightful features of the estate, aside from the lush romantic gardens that the house nestles upon: is the gentle faux thatched roofs peeking over the structure. The rustic colours of the house are balanced by the warmth of the brick chimney and allow the visitor a glance at the private courtship of the famed couple.
8. Government house of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada
Government House of Prince Edward Island (better known as Fanningbank) is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. Designed by Yorkshire architect Isaac Smith, the house boasts of a confluence of Palladian and Georgian styles and was constructed around 1832. The timber-framed building is planned symmetrically across two axes that converge on the main central hall. Doric columns adorn the porticos and entrances of the structure, accentuating its volume.
Unlike most provinces, this monarchical residence hasn’t been placed in the heart of the city and instead occupies an unobtrusive location within Charlottetown, allowing it to retain its character of a private home.
9. Kipling’s bungalow, Mumbai, India
The famed residence of the first Principal, of the Sir J.J College of Art, the birthplace of the Bombay School of Art, the first formal institution for architectural education, and the birthplace and childhood home of revolutionary writer Rudyard Kipling, there are stories hidden in every corner of the Kipling’s bungalow.
The low hanging roofs of the patios, brackets of the elegantly circular balconies, and delicate jalis on every parapet showcase the elegance of the wood they comprise. The serenity of the light the structure filters and the winsome ambiance of the space is one that every student that has even been to this 100-year-old campus carries in their hearts for a lifetime.
10. The Lake House, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Built by the late Colonel Stanley J Foster in 1966, the Lake House stands proudly over the picturesque Cameron highlands of Malaysia as a relic of the country’s colonial past. Described as both a storybook cottage and an example of the Tudor revival movement, the architecture of the cottage remains true to the charming medieval English tradition.
The original timber framing and stucco walls of this imitation Tudor have stood the test of time. The grand arched gateways and dramatically sloping roofs are symbolic of the stately character of the style trademarks.
11. Spadena House, Beverly Hills, USA
As if sprung right out of a fairy tale, the Spadena House has been rightly described as the “quintessential Hansel and Gretel house” by pioneering architect Charles Willard Moore. With its dramatic lopsided rooftops, small, dutifully carved widows, and distressed stucco work, the house was designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver, a pioneer in storybook architecture.
Before its conversion into the private residence, the house was engulfed by a purposely overgrown English garden and a moat-like pond. It has since received protection as a landmark No. 8 on Beverly Hills.
12. Statehouse, Mahé, Seychelles
Built in the Year 1910 by prolific Architect William Marshall Vaudin, the Statehouse Seychelles quintessentially portrays the stately colonial aesthetic and architectural style of the era. Nestled behind the lush lawns and charming palm groves of the estate, the Statehouse portrays a portico studded with white pillars that precede the main structure on both levels.
This spatial placement of the structure brings the eminent ocean breeze of the island nation. Standing proud against a backdrop of Seychelle’s picturesque topography truly makes its sight a monument to behold.
13. Government House, Wellington, New Zealand
Settled against the western ridge of Mount Victoria, the Government House, Wellington is a harmonious amalgamation of Classical and Tudor stylistic features. Its interplay of the two architectural movements results in an eclectic English Domestic House with a profound institutional ambiance.
While the subtle colour palette is one of the more striking features of the structure, the massive roof that unites its volume and the gables that symmetrically puncture its profile is the visual you recall in your memory of the space. Draped in a white-pillared porte-cochere, the house is truly symbolic of age-old colonial tradition.
14. Government House, Belize City, Belize
The House of Culture Museum, Belize City, better known as the Government House Belize City, is one of the finest colonial buildings in the Caribbean. Built in 1914 by the illustrious British architect Sir Christopher Wren, the design boasts elements from the Caribbean Vernacular style as well as English Urban Architecture.
Sporting classic English elements such as its lavish bay windows, stately gabled profile, and pillared porte-cochere, the building is a nationalist symbol in Belizean history. On the 21st of September 1981, it was in this colonial monument that the nation first hoisted its national flag. It has since been a symbol of the country’s deep-rooted history and remains a patriotic site even today.
15. Black and white houses, Adams Park, Singapore
Nestled amid Singapore’s vibrant city and left entirely untouched by its startling development lie the beautiful “Black and White” houses of Adam Park. This cloister of nineteen colonial bungalows was built by the British around the 1920s for municipal purposes. Characterized by their tasteful darkened timer detailing contrasted over stark white lime walls, this niche typology is known for its muted monochrome detailing, and Adams Park is replete with the ambiance of a colonial military estate.
It also witnessed the “Hellfire” of a three-day battle during World War II and served as a camp for the prisoners of war of the defeated Australian and British Troops. Today the establishment stands as a relic of its time, reminiscent of history immemorable.