Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Emma
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The British stately home is a thing of beauty, not just in terms of how it looks, but it terms of what it means and what it represents. Across the world, the architecture and history of these magnificent houses is admired, and in many cases there are some impressive attempts at replicating the style. And why not? It's stunning, and the feeling of grandeur that you get when you step inside is like nothing you'll feel anywhere else. Somewhere between a mansion and a castle, but stately home is its own unique structure, and we love it for being itself.

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Image Credit: https://beaverbrook.co.uk

The British have always been at the forefront of design and architecture. This fascination with creating beautiful places to live started much farther back that you might imagine – its roots can be traced back to the Middle Ages, a time when you could be forgiven for thinking that people were living in primitive structures on patches of sodden land, watching the king and his armies slaughtering those around them. Not so. Well, not entirely so. Although, of course, the lower classes were certainly living the way we have described, those who had more money, the ones with the power and the status, were doing rather better.

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. Image Credit: https://theculturetrip.com

They were designing their own bespoke castles and larger homes, places where they could live (along with their entourage) and thrive. So where did these ideas come from? It was, as many things are in Britain, all to do with the Romans. Those Roman villas that were built then abandoned were as much a fascination in the 1000s as they are today, and the life of a Roman gentleperson was something that the Medieval noblemen were keen to replicate. Times were much more fractious, however, and that means that this was all but impossible. That lifestyle was beyond the reach of everyone. Yet the one thing they could have was the housing; that, at least, could be the same.

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Illustration of Fishbourne Roman Palace, Sussex; the largest Roman palace. Image Credit: Mapio.net

The time between 1066 (the infamous Battle of Hastings when William I became king) and 1485 (when Richard III lost his life at Bosworth) was a magical one for British architecture. The cathedrals, for example, that were built during this period still stand the test of time, and are visited by millions of people from across the world every year. It’s fascinating to imagine what the builders and designers would have made of that all those centuries ago.

By the time the Tudors were in power, building work had changed focus from the grand and impressive to the everyday. Houses for habitation by the peasants and the lower classes were now being built. They may not have been comfortable by today’s standards, but compared to the dwellings that had gone before, they were palaces. And that’s something important to remember – much of the architecture around us is relative. We compare it to our own homes and that’s where the surprises and the intrigue come. It’s why we love stately homes because they are so far removed from our own experiences (even if our own homes are really rather lovely).

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Row of Tudor houses in Warwick.

One such country house with a fascinating and elegant history is the Beaverbrook Hotel. Its most famous resident has to be Lord Beaverbrook himself. Lord Beaverbrook was a great friend of Winston Churchill’s, and considered one of the most powerful men of the 20th century. This politician was the person to whom all hopefuls went to, and to whom they made their arguments as to why they should get this position, or why that company should be funded. Get on the right side of Beaverbrook and your name and fortune could be made.

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Image Credit: https://beaverbrook.co.uk

Lord Beaverbrook was known as the First Baron of Fleet Street because it was his widely read newspapers – the Daily Express and Sunday Express – that had the power to make or break whomever had pleased (or displeased) him.

He was, indeed a fascinating character. And he loved to entertain, bringing many people to The Beaverbrook over the years. Debate was his favourite thing, so if he had a group of people with whom he could discuss all manner of weird, wonderful, and outlandish topics (as well as politics and other more mundane ideas) he was in his element.

Beaverbrook Hotel: Brilliantly British Architecture Steeped in History

Image Credit: https://beaverbrook.co.uk

The Beaverbrook is a Grade II listed stately home designed in the style of a French chateau. It was originally built in 1870 (for Abraham Dixon, Birmingham-based wool entrepreneur) but after extensive damage, caused by a fire, it had to be mostly rebuilt in 1893. The work was done sympathetically and it is impossible to tell (to an untrained eye at least) what the original parts were compared to the newer ones. 

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Comments (1)

Technostruct, Engineer • Jul 17

Interesting article on BIM Service Provider! Thank you for sharing them! I hope you will continue to have similar posts to share with everyone!

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