St. James’s Park offered some of the freshest, most wholesome milk during a Georgian London summer – the frothy hot liquid, or new milk, was drawn at the request of customers from cows that had grazed on the park’s lawns.
An estimated 8,500 cows were kept for milk near London.* Farmers milked their herds and carted in the milk to dairy retailers from as much as 20 miles away.
In idealized scenes, artists give us an insight into contemporary customs. A milkmaid is milking a cow in St. James’s Park as a young boy in a skeleton suit waits with his empty cup. The party consists of a soldier and a mother with two other children, a boy and a girl. These two have…
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I will begin with one of the most perfect examples of 18th Century Georgian architecture in America. Since Annapolis, Maryland has one of the highest concentrations of Georgian architecture in North America, it is no surprise that the most exquisite example is the Hammond-Harwood House. The house’s main entrance is reputed to be “the most beautiful door in America”, with outstanding proportion and balance, intricately carved woodwork and classical columns. This house was designed and built to show the owner’s influence and affluence. No photography is allowed of the inside of the house, so all interior photos have been taken from the internet and duly accredited. All exterior photography is my own, taken in April 2014. The house was designed by an Englishman, William Buckland, apprenticed in London to a prominent cabinetmaker. He immigrated to America to seek better fortunes, apprenticed to George Mason’s brother in Virginia. Many of the details of the house were designed from pattern books that were very popular in the 18th century, the likes of which Chippendale and Abraham Swann, were two of noteworthiness.
If asked what style of architecture one would associate with William Kent, one of the leading designers of the Georgian era, most would say Palladian and, if pushed, they might argue that his interiors are distinctly Baroque. Yet Kent is also regarded as the creator of the ‘Gothick’ style of architecture; a blend of historical Gothic elements but applied, initially, within the structure of classical rules. This quickly evolved to have greater historical rigour, laying the groundwork for the more zealous interpretation by Victorians such as A.W.N. Pugin. However, it could be argued that Kent was merely satisfying the stylistic whims of a patron and in his use of ‘Gothic’ elements, was actually continuing the Elizabethan practice of creating ‘symmetrical Gothic’, a visually impressive approach built on Renaissance principles.
Design for the east front of Esher Place, c1732 (copyright: Merton Heritage & Local Studies Centre)
William Kent was born in 1685 in Bridlington…
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