Re: Re: Victorian / Georgian House Plan Books

Home Forums Ireland Victorian / Georgian House Plan Books Re: Re: Victorian / Georgian House Plan Books


There is a variety of books available, if not for purchase then for library loan, that would contain plans of both Georgian and Victorian houses. Is it terraced or detached? Urban or rural? Are there others in the vicinity of a similar design/plan type that could be measured?

Maurice Craig’s ‘Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size’ contains a good range of plans from the 18th and 19th centuries, for example, and it has just been reprinted after far too long unavailable for purchase at a reasonable price. But this is just one example- most quality books on Irish architectural history will contain a few plans. (In fact, quality can often be measured by whether they contain plans or not, in that anyone can point a camera at a building, but getting an accurate plan requires an amount of knowledge and a dedication to a subject lacking in the more half-assed publications on ‘heritage buildings’ etc.)

Bear in mind, though, that in many people’s eyes it would be as wrong to build, say, a Co Westmeath Georgian house in Co Cork as it would be to build an American Victorian house in Co Cork. Regional variations were numerous in the 18th/19th centuries and give buildings the character that can be lacking in a building copied from a book of plans, so it’d be as important to familiarise yourself with local materials, historic skills, and subtle regional variations (camber-headed windows vs flat-arched windows; render types; slate patterns on roofs; fanlight design) as it would with the general principles of either period in question (symmetry vs asymmetry; tripartite vs spine wall/double-pile; staircase position; etc.). Again, Craig’s ‘…Middle Size’ has much to say on this matter.

Lastly, an accurate measured survey of the site in question would yield much valuable info- wall thicknesses, construction methods, materials, etc. might tell you if there are two (or more) phases, and would (should) be your first point of departure in any proposal.

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