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Building and Construction in the Era of William III and Mary II (1689 - 1694)

The reign of William III and Mary II, also known as the William and Mary era, marked a significant shift in British architectural trends, moving towards what would eventually be recognized as the Georgian style. The period was characterized by advancements in building techniques, a changing society, and the influence of population shifts on the urban landscape. This article explores the various aspects of building and construction during this period.

Types of Dwellings

The period saw a continuation of the Jacobean style and the development of the Dutch-English style, influenced by William III’s Dutch origins. Gabled houses with large, leaded windows were common, and red brick became increasingly popular for construction. The typical dwelling of this period ranged from small country cottages to large townhouses and manors for the wealthy.

Average Dwelling and Daily Life

The average person would have lived in modest, timber-framed homes with thatched roofs. Urban houses were generally terraced and had a narrow frontage. Daily life was marked by labor-intensive work, either in agriculture or in burgeoning industries.

Significant Building Achievements

One of the most notable architectural achievements from this period was the rebuilding of Hampton Court Palace by Sir Christopher Wren, which demonstrated the characteristic Dutch influence on English architecture.

Population and Its Influence on Society

The population of England was growing during this period, which led to increased urbanization and the development of new residential areas. This led to the need for more housing, particularly in growing cities, contributing to the trend of terraced housing in urban areas.

Social Changes and Influence on Building Materials

The period was marked by the Glorious Revolution, which saw a shift in political power and a move towards parliamentary democracy. The availability of building materials evolved with the increase in trade and the development of new manufacturing methods. Brick production, in particular, was increasing, and it became a favored material for house construction.