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The magic of Queen Anne

There is something elusive and uniquely satisfying about the architecture of this period. When the classical influences of the Renaissance had been assimilated into the native tradition of the British Isles, but before the systematising hand of Palladianism held sway, local craftsmen-architects were able to create beautifully proportioned buildings at all scales and in all settings.

This house, Great Treverran, is in south Cornwall. Thought to have been built c.1705, it exemplifies many of Queen Anne's best characteristics - the rhetorical use of a giant Ionic order, a boldly scaled open pediment over the door, tall thin windows, and a satisfying simplicity of form and design. Built before the industrial revolution and easily transportable materials, it also benefits from being constructed of local stone - granite and slate - that embed it in the vernacular tradition. The result glows because of the interrelation between the different elements of the design and the building as a whole.

If we can build anything approaching the delight of this house now, I feel we have done well.

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