Afterwards Our Buildings Shape Us – A Pictorial Blog about Old Buildings
It has been hard dividing ‘Buildings’ into two separate areas for blogs. This one is about the old ones so it covers most of the buildings we see every day.
I will start with Hampton Court Castle or Hampton Court in Herefordshire. The building is Fifteenth Century but the internal décor owes much to an American billionaire (Robert Van Kampen) who refurbished it to look like his view of Mediaeval England. It includes guest bedrooms for when the castle becomes a venue for weddings.
Next in a fairly random order are some old castles, some timber-framed Elizabethan architecture, some ordinary houses, some grand public buildings and some shops, pubs and banks. Some pictures came from Cheltenham and my usual haunts and some are from Oxford, Cirencester, Tewkesbury or further afield.
I have picked out a few for some brief comments.
There is an area of unused industrial buildings by Lydney Harbour. There are notices about redevelopment but I have seen little change in the years I have been visiting.
The next one is an old mill at Tewkesbury. It has also been unused for many years.
The next two do represent change. The Midland Hotel opposite Cheltenham Station was a thriving pub. When we have horse racing it pits out a marquee at the front to supply Guinness for our Irish visitors. Recently it closed suddenly so maybe it’s now a ‘development opportunity.’
And the remnants of a large wholesale and retail builders’ suppliers are shown above as they started to clear the site when it closed at the end of last year. There will be hundreds of houses there soon. The first show houses are already ready.
The last picture below is a magnificent crescent of Regency buildings in Cheltenham.
In October 1943, following the destruction of the Commons Chamber by incendiary bombs during the Blitz, the Commons debated the question of rebuilding the chamber. With Winston Churchill’s approval, they agreed to retain its adversarial rectangular pattern instead changing to a semi-circular or horse-shoe design favoured by some legislative assemblies. Churchill insisted that the shape of the old Chamber was responsible for the two-party system which is the essence of British parliamentary democracy: ‘We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.’