View Full Version : Help with English architecture?

03-08-2009, 04:00 PM
On the subject of manors and mansions in like, the 17th century, did it really matter what floors different rooms were on? I've been looking around and have found some interesting floor plans, but the writing is too small and I can't read it... :(

03-08-2009, 04:46 PM
Generally meeting rooms,dining rooms,ballroom,music rooms etc,would be on the ground floor.Kitchens and storerooms would be in a basement or in the back of the house on the ground floor.Bed rooms would be on the second floor unless the House was large and have wings,.The servants would live in the attic,basement,or some times in out building.However,in the Brighton pavilion ,the palace were the Prince Regent lived,the main bedroom was on the ground floor ,because the Prince was too fat and often too drunk to walk up the stairs.

03-09-2009, 11:22 AM
Resources by Era in Genres: Historical. There are several resources there where you can see the houses and access plans.

17thC manors and comfortably off farmers and merchants' houses were not large and did not have as many rooms or call and use them in the same way we do today.

Grand mansions you can find through the National Trust website in Resources by Era and look at them and their plans.

03-10-2009, 07:00 PM
As pointed out, most of the functions that the master of the house would be involved with took place on the ground floor and the floor above it, with the attic and basement confined to service functions. Note however, that the 'ground floor' in this case might actually be raised up above the ground considerably. This is especially the case in city houses. Country houses not so much.

The first floor would have the reception spaces; the parlor, the drawing room, the smoking room, the billiard room, the dining room, the ball room, whatever. The second floor would have the master's rooms and his family's rooms. Husband and wife would often have separate rooms. There would often be an office or library on this floor, though this one might be on either floor.

Now a country home might have some or all of the second floor functions on the first floor, land not being as confining, and the whole situation being less formal.

Soccer Mom
03-10-2009, 07:54 PM
Short answer: Yes, it really mattered what floor certain rooms were on.

It matters a lot if we are discussing country or town homes. Check out the resources from the list that PDR mentions. I own several of those books listed. They are invaluable. I highly recommend Georgian and Regency Houses Explained by Trevor Yorke.

Understand that it also makes a difference when the house was built, not just when it is being inhabited. Your story might be set in 1790 (neoclassical) but if the house was built in 1740, it would more likely be of a Rococo style.