Nightshayes, near Tiverton, Devon — the seat of J. H. Amory, Esq., M.P. designed by William Burges (1869) Drawing from Eastlake, facing p. 356. Image scan and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Commentary by Charles L. Eastlake (1872)

Knightshayes, near Tiverton, the residence of Mr. J. H. Amory, M.P., is another example of this architect's skill in the field of domestic architecture. A reference to the illustration of this building will show that, though the main front is uniform in its general masses, the entrance doorway is not precisely in the centre. This slight deviation from what is commonly called symmetry in design was no doubt adopted for convenience of internal arrangement, and is an instance of the ease with which a Gothic elevation may accommodate itself to exigencies of plan without sacrifice of artistic effect. In the case of an Italian villa such a license would have been almost impossible.

The class of art to which Knightshayes belongs is of a severer type than that adopted at Eatington, and less emphatically national than that which characterises Leyes Wood. The reddish local stone employed for the masonry is extremely hard, and there is a kind of sympathy between its stern unyielding nature and the robust rather than refined character of the work with which it is associated.

Massive walls, bold gables, stout mullions nearly half the width of the lights which they divide, large and solid looking chimney shafts, corbelled from the walls or riding on the high pitched roofs, are the principal incidents which give this building dignity and effect. Such gentler graces as are imparted into the design by aid of mouldings or decorative sculpture (as in the central dormer) indicate a French origin. The crreat feature of the interior is a large hall to be used for the reception of the owner's tenantry. This is fitted up with a galery and rostrum at one end, and is eminently picturesque both in plan and proportions. For thi squality of design as well as for a certain vigour of treatment, Knightshayes may be considered a typical example of the Revival. [356-57]

References

Eastlake, Charles L. A History of the Gothic Revival. London: Longmans, Green; N.Y. Scribner, Welford, 1872. [Copy in Brown University's Rockefeller Library]


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