The English Civil War has become a definite back-burner project around here, but it is still around, along with ambitions to make some more Western European/British buildings and other scenery for dual use in both ECW and pulp gaming. Dark deeds in the pastoral countryside, that sort of thing, whether it’s with horse and musket or Mauser and sporty roadster!
It turns out that the ever-valuable Internet Archive (previously here on the Warbard) is stuffed with old books on English traditional architecture and buildings. Here’s a fairly random sampling of ones that caught my eye as being useful for inspiring suitable wargaming terrain.
- Old cottages, farm houses, and other half-timber buildings in Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Cheshire has very nice photographic plates, great if you want half-timber inspiration.
- Old cottages, farm-houses, and other stone buildings in the Cotswold district; examples of minor domestic architecture in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northants, Worcestershire, &c. (1905) has pages and pages of photographs.
- The village homes of England has piles of great illustrations of whole buildings.
- Old English Country Cottages has more colour plates and illustrations.
- The cottages and the village life of rural England is full of beautiful watercolour plates of cottages and villages.
- Early renaissance architecture in England is mostly grand buildings and details, but still has some good drawings and plates.
- The half-timber house; its origin, design, modern plan, and construction is more an architectural guide to building new homes to old patterns than a historical review. Still interesting, though.
Finally, you can find many more books in this vein by searching the Internet Archive’s Texts collection for Architecture, Domestic — England.
The Shire Publications book Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings is one I’ve seen recommended several places. As usual, check the various other recommendations Amazon and other customers make, good stuff there too. Shire do a whole series of inexpensive English history books that look very useful for those of us who aren’t in the UK but want some inspiration and authentic local details.
Inspired and begun by a thread over on Frothers Unite, of all places.
2 thoughts on “Half-Timber & Rural British Architecture”
This is a very good list. I would add two that are simple and full of illustrations, both come from museums.
Avoncroft Museum Guide and
Weald and Downland Museum Guide.
In addition if I could only have one book on timber framed buildings it would be Discovering Timber Framed Buildings.
One easy way of dating buildings for this period is Mullioned windows!
Finally don’t overlook David Winter and Lilliput chine/resin houses – the catalogues and leaflets are sometimes available free and are full of illustrations.
I hope this helps.
I added working links in your comment to the websites of the two museums you mention, Tony. The Weald & Downland Museum site is especially useful, lots of great photos of their buildings, with writeups as well. They even sell Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings via their online shop, along with their own guide. Not a bad place to buy it from, and put money toward preserving this sort of building too!
Avoncroft Museum’s website isn’t quite as good, but still has some neat photos.
Having had it endorsed multiple times, I think I’m going to have to add a copy of Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings to my own library soon! Must see if one of the great local bookstores can get it in for me first.
Thanks for the feedback and extra links — Brian