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Studio: international art — 10.1897

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Evolution of Village Architecture

customs and manners are
those natural to isolated
groups of people, with little
or no intercourse with others.
In the industrial village, one
of the developments of our
own time — probably the
result, to some extent, of a
conscious, gradual and more
general recognition of the
influence of environment—
there is sufficient evidence
to indicate that the combi-
nation of country with town
life, under conditions more
complex, and therefore less
' ~:r-- "* easy of reasonable organisa-

tion, can be carried to higher
issues, bringing into the
squalid life of the workers
in centres of industry some-
thing of beauty, something of
life. The building of pleas-
antly placed groups of dwell-

BY MORTIMER MEN'PES • • _ • ■. .

ings in proximity to any
industry, with ample open

VOIUTION OF VIILAGE spaces, gardens, and the rational segregation of the
ARCHITFCTURE IN ENG blocks in the country districts or on the outskirts

of the towns is in this direction ; and leads to a
happier mode of life than that lived by the worker in
In Viollet le Due's work, "The Habi- the "model industrial dwelling." From the earliest
tations of Man in all Ages," Epergos, who sym- times onward, the village has had its place in the
bolises the spirit of inquiry and progress, says, " The national development, changing a little from time
same phenomenon is always recurring," in the to time, as one form of society succeeded another,
growth, fulness, and subsequent decay of a nation, and each period impressed upon the thought and
So in architecture—a manifestation of a nation's life customs of the village some of its tendencies ; and
—it is possible to trace through its period of youth, while certain villages, through position, mineral
maturity, and decline, an intimate connection wealth or other cause have become towns, many
existing between the civilization which gave it seem to have remained stationary, but have in reality
birth, and the changes in its domestic architec- been influenced by the succeeding forms of social
ture. Hallam, in his " History of the Middle life. This recurrence of village life under a more
Ages," says, " No chapter in the history of national complex social state, and as the outcome of " posi-
manners would illustrate so well, if duly executed, tive conditions " of life and labour, is the result of
the progress of social life as that dedicated to causes, some of which it is proposed to touch upon
domestic architecture. Every change in the dwell- in the course of this article.

ings of mankind, from the rudest wooden cabin In the early village community of which Ash-
to the stately mansion, has been dictated by borne is a type, Mrs. G. L. Gomme says: " The
some principle of convenience, neatness, comfort, dwellings were built of wattles, smeared inside and
or magnificence," consequent upon those general out with mud or clay, and were crowded near the
causes which build up the life of a nation. In no church in the street of the settlement. In all
phase is this close relationship more easily traced cases the church was the common hall of the parish
perhaps than in the industrial village, and its proto- and a fortress in time of danger, occupying the site
type, the village community. In the latter, with its of the stockade which had been built when the
primitive economy, rough and ready dwellings, the first settlers occupied the ground. In the body of



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