The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Tottenham Park Barn

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In going to see the old barn, in which Henry VIII. is said to have been married to Jane Seymour (the mother of Edward VI., who established so many schools), we observed the process of building mud walls going on. It is here practised by common day labourers; and Mr. Stanley assured us that, when built on good flint or brick foundations, and well thatched, with the eaves projecting so far as completely to throw off the rain, these walls will last for an unknown length of time. They are very common in Wiltshire, and make excellent farmyard as well as garden walls, and the warmest of all cottages. In our Encyc. of Architecture, ᄎ 838. to 843., will be found a detailed description of the mode of building cob walls in Devonshire, where houses two or three stories high are built in this way. This account was sent us by a clergyman, who states, as a proof of their great durability, that he was himself born in a cob parsonage, built in the time of Elizabeth. The Devonshire mode, and that practised in Wiltshire, appear to be exactly the same. The Cambridgeshire mode is different, and is also given in the work referred to, ᄎ 159. The French mode (pise), which is more elaborate, will be found in our Architectural Magazine, vol. i., as applicable to one of the most economical designs for a group of four roadside cottages (by Mr. Wilds, surveyor, Hertford), which we have anywhere seen. We would not, however, be understood as recommending cob, mud, or pise walls, either for cottages, or anything else, where brick or stone can be procured; but we should certainly prefer them to loghouses, as being safer from fire, warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.