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Victorian Tudor c. 1840—c. 1890
|20 O’Connell Street Gatehouse||06 Former Registry Office||06 Government House|
|08 Conservatorium of Music||02
|Many Britons, finding their nation in the
vanguard of nineteenth-century industrialisation, felt the need for regular
doses of nostalgia to counteract the harsh and ugly aspects of modern life.
The nostalgia often focused on images of a Merrie England around the time of
life-loving Henry VIII, dashing Sir Francis Drake, and Good Queen Bess. The
buildings of this Tudor era were loved for what were seen as their
quintessentially British qualities of mellowness, picturesqueness and human
scale. When London’s Houses of Parliament were burned to the ground in i 834
and an architectural competition was subsequently held to find a design for
a new building, the conditions of the competition stipulated that the style
must be Gothic or Elizabethan, thus acknowledging that buildings of the
Tudor period lay firmly within the core of British tradition.
But even before the London conflagration, the seal of approval for Tudor architecture in Australia had been given by English architect Edward Blore’s design for a new Government House for Sydney , the drawings for which arrived by ship in 1834. Nothing could have been better conceived to remind colonials vividly of their home country across the seas.
Victorian Tudor drew its inspiration mainly from English and Scottish architecture of the sixteenth century, a period of relative freedom, comfort and prosperity, when dimly grasped ideas of the Renaissance were being grafted onto a late- medieval culture. The style evokes images of a time when the country mansion of a noble family wore battlements only as a reminder of the fortified medieval castle and displayed great mullioned windows adapted from those of the cathedrals.
In Australia, as elsewhere, the parapeted gable roof was given a great variety of configurations— straight, stepped, curvilinear, and intricate combinations thereof. Occasionally reference is made to the Scottish baronial idiom, with its steeply pitched roofs, rugged masonry, bartizans and candle-snuffer roofs, all of which, in turn, show the influence of France on the architecture of Scotland.
In common with other nineteenth-century styles, Victorian Tudor was a style an architect might select for a particular job without necessarily making it his stock-in-trade. As with other Victorian styles (see also VICTORIAN ITALIANATE and VICTORIAN RUSTIC GOTHIC), Tudor’s popularity was enhanced by its appearance in many English pattern books.
The continuing influence of Tudor architecture can be seen in some aspects of the FEDERATION QUEEN ANNE style and, even later, in the INTER-WAR OLD ENGLISH style.
The Swifts, Darling Point Road, Darling Point, NSW. 0. A. Morell, architect, 1882. A grand and fashion-setting house.
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.
|Government House, Sydney. Completed 1843.|
|Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne. Completed 1857.|
|Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney. Completed 1862.|
|Government House. Perth. Completed in 1864.|
|The Barracks Arch. Perth. Completed in 1863.|
|HM Prison Pentridge. Coburg, Victoria. Completed in 1864|