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Development and style
Although the Regency period is historically defined as the years between 1811 and 1820 when the future George IV ruled as Prince Regent it became the architectural style of the first 30 years or so of the 19c. The style can be described as Georgian architecture reaching its final expression. The domestic architecture of this period seems to belong in character to the preceding century. It is so refined and civilised that it recalls the Golden Age of the Culture rather than the smoke and turmoil of the Industrial Revolution.
The typical Regency house, from terrace to villa, is built of brick and covered in stucco or painted plaster. The buildings have a delicate Greco-Italian flavour lent them by refined proportion and painted wall surfaces. The fashion for stucco was imported from Italy and was originally intended to imitate stone, but in England it was used simply for what it was, a cheap, paintable, mouldable facing material. All the richness and refinement of Greek carving, moulded cornices, columns, pilasters and delicate folds of classical drapery, could be reproduced in shining painted stucco at a fraction of the cost of worked stone.
Typical features of the terraces and houses of the time included tall thin windows with very slim glazing bars, garden windows that came down to the ground, bow window bays and fine ironwork balconies and verandas. Decorative motifs are few, the buildings relying for effect on good proportions and painted walls. Many low pitched slate roofs are concealed behind cornices and parapets, others have wide projecting eaves recalling the warm Mediterranean, an effect that is further deliberately heightened by the use of painted wooden shutters.
Examples of Regency style houses in The Park can be found on Park Terrace, Park Valley, The Ropewalk, Western Terrace and Derby Road (Derby Terrace). Also in the early part of the 19c a dilettante Romantic Movement found beauty in rusticity, a whimsical return to medievalism and other exotic building forms. One product of this picturesque cult was the Cottage Orné with two examples in The Park at 8 and 10 Park Valley.


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