Well, that’s it for the year – and in fact that’s pretty much it for Ruralise. There is only one outstanding item on my original list of posts, which I can tick off now.
Back in October last year, while writing about ‘rural simplicity’, I mentioned Turn End in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire – three houses and a garden, designed and built by Peter and Margaret Aldington during the 1960s. The three houses are undoubted classics of their period – roughcast-rendered block-work, lots of built-in timber furniture, quarry tiled floors – and have a flowing interaction with the outside spaces around them, including the Aldington’s spectacular garden. Although the houses are, to modern eyes, strongly evocative of Mediterranean vernacular, the rough-cast walls also resonate with the local custom of building with ‘wychert’. The houses were listed in 1998 and upgraded in 2006 to Grade II* and the trust now managing them has got a good website, here.
I have not yet managed to visit Turn End, which is occasionally open to the public; I know the project only from ‘A House and Three Gardens’ by Jane Brown and Richard Bryant – which is one of my most treasured books about architecture. I searched for a copy for years and eventually paid £80 for a one on e-Bay, about three months before it was re-published last year! It’s too late to get a copy for anyone for Christmas, but a self-gift for the New Year, perhaps…
Anyway, as I said, I think that’s about it. My next project is a dedicated website about Tayler & Green, an idea which has grown out of the work I did with photographer Jim Stephenson and Alan Powers of Greenwich University for the architecture festival (FANN-XI) in Norwich in the autumn. I will publish the text as I write it, as a series of posts here on Ruralise, then pull the whole thing together in the spring sometime, before the architectural sight-seeing season starts again.
So, thanks for reading…and have a very merry Christmas!