Housing history

housing history time line first seen at source

Tudor – 1485 – 1603

tudor house

The Tudor house was defined by its Tudor arch and oriel windows. The Tudor period was the first period to move away from the medieval style houses and was more like a timber framed country house. Today Tudor houses are all listed building and highly sought after due to there location and the amount of space and history involved. Tudor houses are an expensive housing option so be prepared for the financial layout and upkeep costs. If that doesn’t put you off then buying a Tudor house could be a great investment and opportunity to keep English heritage alive.

Elizabethan – 1550 -1625

elizabethan house

Elizabethan houses can be recognised by their large vertical timber frames that are often supported by diagonal beams. The Elizabethan style houses were similar to medieval style houses. These houses were built sturdy to last through the age. The houses were built by the middle class are are today listed building.

Jacobean – 1603 – 1625

Jacobean house

The Jacobean style gets its name from King James 1 of England who reigned at the time. The Jacobean style in England follows the Elizabethan style and is the second phase of Renaissance architecture. May Jacobean houses were very large both inside and out with large rooms for family living.  Common features included columns and pilasters, arches and archades. These features were to create a sense of grandeur. There are many Jacobean style houses on the market today if your lucky enough to be able to afford one.

Stuart – 1603 – 1714

stuart house

One of the most common period property types for country houses. This period house boasted elegant exteriors with sash windows, high ceiling and spacious rooms. The outside was commonly bare brick and flat fronted.

English Baroque – 1702 – 1714

During this period houses were decorated with arches, columns and sculptures and took many features and characteristics from the continent. The interiors were very exuberant with artwork and ornaments in all rooms main rooms

Palladian – 1715 -1770

palladian house

The Palladian era started in 1715 and these types of houses are characterised by symmetry and classic forms, more plain than other eras however on the inside houses were lavish and often had elaborate decorations

Georgian – 1714 – 1837

georgian house

The Georgian house was styled with rigid symmetry, the most common Georgian house was built with brick with window decorative headers and hip roofs. The Georgian house period started and got its name due to the 4 successive kings being named George.

Regency – 1811 – 1820

regency house

The Regency housing style was common among the upper and middle classes from 1811 to 1820 the houses were typically built in brick and then covered in painted plaster. The plaster was carefully moulded to produce elegant decorative touches to give the exterior of the house more elegance.

Victorian – 1837 – 1910

victorian house

Very common even today especially in London. A Victorian house in general refers to any house build during the reign of Queen Victoria. The main features of a Victoria house are roofs made of slate with sash windows and patters in the brick work that are made using different colour bricks. Stained Glass windows and doors were also a common feature as were bay windows

Edwardian – 1901 -1910

edwardian house

Edwardian architecture got its name during the reign of King Edward from 1901 – 1910. These types of houses were generally built in a straight line with red brick. Edwardian houses typically had wooden frame porches and wide hallways. The rooms inside were wider and brighter moving away from the older style houses that were more gothic. Parquet wood floors and simple internal decoration was common also.

Norman Conquest of England

We are used to thinking of William, Duke of Normandy, as the Conqueror of Eng­land. But he would not have seen it like that. He believed he had a legitimate claim to the English throne and that he was com­ing to England as its rightful ruler. He was not the only one. Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, also had a convincing claim. Harold of England, the reigning king, was thus beset by enemies, the Norwegians coming from the north and the Normans (themselves Scandinavian in origin, but settled in Normandy in northwestern France) from the south.

It was difficult to predict who would attack first. In the end it was the Norwe­gians who landed on the river Humber, gained a tremendous victory over the Mercians, and marched confidently to the city of York. Harold of England was in a difficult position. He could either stay in the south, hoping to defend himself suc­cessfully against a Norman invasion that had not yet materialized, or he could head north and attempt to cut off the progress of Harald Hardrada and his ally the Earl Tostig, Harold of England’s own brother. In the end he opted to go north and, early in the morning of 25 September, defeated the Scandinavians at Stamford Bridge, near York. Both Tostig and Hardrada were killed and the victory was decisive.

But meanwhile there was trouble in the south. William of Normandy had set off for England, ignorant of the result of the Battle of Stamford Bridge but spurred on by a favorable wind in the English Chan­nel. He already controlled the sea ports of northeastern France so his passage across the sea was unimpeded. He arrived to find the English unprepared.

Both parties wanted an early battle. William was conscious that he was less secure once he had landed; Harold wanted to surprise the Normans as he had the Scandinavians at Stamford Bridge. But the English king was far too quick for his own soldiers, many of whom arrived in the south exhausted by a rapid journey so soon after a major battle.

William was ready for the fight. He also had excellent cavalrymen at his disposal and Harold’s axe men were no match for these. William’s spearmen and cavalry forces were able to break up the massed ranks of the English axe men and score a decisive victory at the now-famous battle-site near Hastings in southern England. After this, William was secure. He moved at a steady pace through the countryside, finding enough support amongst the English lords to be crowned king at West­minster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.

After the battle

But the situation was not totally secure. There was a pronounced nervousness about the actions of the Normans in the following decade and one medieval chronicler describes the English lying in wait for groups of Normans, ambushing them, and killing them secretly in woods and lonely places. And there were more organized rebellions in Kent and Exeter, as well as in the north in 1070, when the Northumbrians, in alliance with the Danes and an English claimant to the throne, captured York. William had to respond drastically, burning villages and stretches of land in the north, resulting, if we are to believe the chronicles, in the death of many people and more farm ani­mals. Similar action was taken fifteen years later, when a Danish invasion was threatened.

It was activities such as these as the vic­tory at Hastings that earned William the reputation of an oppressor. The church­men who wrote the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the year-by-year history of the events of the Saxon and Norman periods, voice some of the frustration of people forced to pay high taxes while trying to eke out a liv­ing from the land in the face of a scorched-earth policy.

The short-term effects of the Norman victory were dire for many English peo­ple. But what of the more profound results? These are difficult to analyze. One view looks at the Normans as bringing institutions such as feudalism and strong bureaucratic government, social struc­tures represented on the ground by towns and castles, and reform of the monasteries to England.

But it is equally possible to argue that trends such as these were already appear­ing in Anglo-Saxon England. In many cases it is clear that the Normans took over perfectly adequate Anglo-Saxon institu­tions and that these were better than any­thing they might have devised themselves. For example, the taxation and coinage sys­tems were taken over; and the organiza­tion of local government, with its counties and smaller hundreds, was maintained. On these terms the Norman conquest remains something of an enigma. What is more, the idea that ‘foreigners’ were rul­ing England for the first time would not have been widely held in a country that had undergone a series of Scandinavian invasions.

The Short, Unhappy Life of England’s King Edward VI



England’s King Edward VI began life as the hope of an entire nation; the male heir that Henry VIII at long last produced after a series of unfortunate marriages ending in a couple of beheadings and a divorce that completely changed the religious map of England. Unfortunately for Edward especially, but really almost all concerned, his birth occurred too late in his father’s life to ensure the smooth transition that such a celebrated event was intended to guarantee. A mere child when he was handed the crown of England, Edward VI was never more than a figurehead; a puppet monarch whose strings were pulled by a variety of ambitious overseers. But such was the instability of transition in a monarchy that even the powerful Duke of Somerset was not free to rule young Edward as he might have hoped.

Henry VIII died when Edward was just nine years old. Henry’s will requested that sixteen executors be named as members of a Council of Regency until his son turned 18. Almost as if knowing he never would, the Council voted to lower Edward’s age of assumptive majority to 16 in a vote taken in 1552. In addition to the sixteen executors, Henry also willed the addition of twelve assistants who would assume the mantle of executor should any of the original sixteen not prove fit for their duties. The council quickly moved to elect Edward’s uncle, Edward Seymour, as Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King’s Person until Edward achieved maturity. Seymour was then given the title Duke of Somerset and appointed to the positions of Lord High Treasurer and Earl Marshal.

Another unfortunate thing for young Edward was that he assumed the throne during one of the most politically contentious periods in British history to that point. His father’s divorce had resulted in a break with the Catholic Church, setting up centuries of deep division within the country between reformists and those loyal to Rome. The Duke of Somerset set for himself the goal of reaching a state of unification between Protestant England and Catholic Scotland. Of course, Somerset was hardly alone in figuring that control of the boy king meant control of the direction of Britain. As a result, Edward’s short reign was marked by political infighting and manipulations intent on ensuring that England became a rigidly Protestant country, which meant battling both Catholic interests from without. Somerset rose and fell, the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was deeply influential on Edward, and the Earl of Warwick eventually rose to prominence to take on the same position in Edward’s life as Somerset. The wives and offspring of Henry VII, as well as political figures of the court constantly conspired against each other to ensure that their wishes would result in Edward’s issuance of edicts.

The political maneuvering only became more intense once it became obvious that Edward’s reign would not see him reach maturity as a result of contracting tuberculosis. The hard-line Protestants conspired not only against the Catholic Mary in Scotland, but against the moderate Protestant Elizabeth, hoping to place the hard-line Protestant Lady Jane Grey in line for succession upon his death. Though successful, Lady Jane’s reign was infamously short, paving the way for the glorious reign of Edward’s sister Elizabeth.

Richard III, King of England and Murderer

The “Princes in the Tower”; Edward V and Richard, the Duke of York; were murdered by their uncle Richard III in 1483. Richard, then the Duke of Gloucester, coveted the crown and contrived an elaborate scheme to disinherit his nephews and obtain the throne. Once he had set the crown upon his head the boys were a threat to him and his rule as long as they were alive. He had no choice but to sanction their murders.
Richard had the two boys confined in the Tower of London, supposedly for their protection. In his capacity as Lord Protector, the effective ruler of the kingdom, he kept delaying the coronation of his nephew, Edward V, until finally putting it off indefinitely. Then, lastly, he had the English Parliament pass a law declaring his nephews bastards and unable to inherit the throne so he could become King of England in 1483. After the late summer of 1483, the boys were seen less and less until they finally disappeared from the public view all together. It was rumored in many quarters that they had been murdered by their uncle.

Though Edward V and his brother had been declared bastards, this was no absolute guarantee that they would not inherit the throne one day. William the Conqueror had been an illegitimate child and eventually gained the throne of England on the battlefield from Harold II in 1066. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, based his claim on illegitimate decent from John of Gaunt and was currently aspiring to due the same against Richard III. Thus, the king was faced with both internal and external threats to his rule. He would have to eliminate both of them for him to stabilize his reign over England.

Sir James Tyrrell admitted in 1501, under torture, while being interrogated on charges of rebellion, that he killed the Princes on Richard III’s orders. He described how he and two other men murdered the Princes. This confession by one of Richard’s trusted aids provides the most damning evidence against Richard III for the murder. It links motive to action.

All evidence points to Richard III in the disappearance and murder of his nephews. It is undisputed that he had them imprisoned and disinherited. His own long time servant admitted to killing the Princes on his orders. Then, lastly, several rumors existed that he had murdered Edward V and Richard, the Duke of York, and he never took any opportunity to disprove them and better legitimize his rule.

First Ever Cast-iron Bridge in Shropshire England

Historical Article About the History of the First Ever Cast-iron Bridge in Shropshire England

The Ironbridge gorge in Shropshire England is famous for housing the location of the first iron bridge ever built. According to many experts the iron bridge in Shropshire is where the industrial revolution has its roots. This first iron bridge took four years to build construction lasted from 1777 to 1781 the bridge crosses the famous Severn River. The area of the Ironbridge gorge gained much notability early on for the variety of the wealthy materials near the Severn River. Before the construction of the bridge had been completed if someone who wanted to cross the Severn River they could do so only by taking a ferry. An important aspect that gave rise to great incentive to build the bridge was the developing industries that were beginning to emerge. Many of the new industries were going to soon need a better form of transportation.


According to the Ironbridge Gorge museum website, Thomas Farnolls Pritchard was the architect who was influential in the designs, and earliest plans of the bridge. Also according to the Ironbridge website Pritchard first approached John Wilkinson about his designs for the development of the bridge. Wilkinson was then quick to seek out Abraham Darby III who added the most financial support to the project. Darby also saw the bridge’s construction after the untimely death of Thomas Pritchard through to the end. In 1977 the first construction work began on the new bridge, the iron work began two years later in 1979 it holds great significance for being the first arch bridge to contain cast-iron. The bridge finished its construction in the summer of 1979, and enjoyed its opening a couple of years later in 1981.

The immediate effects of the newly constructed cast-iron bridge were plentiful. The construction allowed for a more efficient means of transportation than the old ferry system that had previously existed. This new means of transportation allowed more access to the precious material that provides the majority of incentive for the design in the beginning. The building of the bridge also had a great deal to do with growing the town of Ironbridge, also helping it to become a great 18th century tourist attraction. The result of using cast-iron made the use of cheaper iron for future architectural designs more main stream. Iron Bridge leaves behind an incredible legacy of historical importance, the most significant of which was spurring on the Industrial Revolution. The iron bridge’s legacy is everlasting although the actual bridge itself has not shown the same resolve. Shortly after its construction the bridge was already showing signs of wear and tear in the form of cracks. Traffic over the bridge is no longer allowed by cars, but tolls for pedestrian traffic are still open to the public. Even though the iron bridge does not have the same practical purposes that it used to, it still remains a staple in English history, and a major tourist attraction. The iron bridge located at Ironbridge Shropshire England is ranked as one of England’s great 21 icons.

Revd Frances Forshaw-Our Priest

The Revd Frances Forshaw has been Mission Priest at Gordon Chapel since December 2010.  Frances originally hails from Perth but spent her schooldays in Glasgow.  She read Nursing at Edinburgh University and subsequently working in various nursing and midwifery posts before gaining a qualification in Neonatal Intensive Care. 

After marrying James, they moved to Derby and then to Cumbria where their two children, Thomas and Marianne, were born.  After moving to Perth, she embarked on a Masters degree in Nursing at Glasgow University.  Frances and James moved to Moray for the first time in 1990 and spent eleven years here before returning to Perthshire in 2001.  Shortly afterwards, Frances started a part-time degree in Theology at Aberdeen University as well as undertaking part-time lecturing at both Dundee and Perth Colleges. 

Frances was ordained in 2003 and served at St John’s Perth, Holy Trinity Pitlochry with Kilmaveonaig Blair Atholl and finally at St Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth.  She completed her theology degree in 2009.  Following James’s early retirement from teaching, they returned to Moray in 2010 and Frances took up her role as Mission Priest at Gordon Chapel.  She has said that she felt a strong calling to come back to Moray and she most definitely wanted to come and serve in Fochabers and Gordon Chapel is delighted to have to her as our priest.

Weddings at Gordon Chapel

Gordon Chapel, with our beautiful stained-glass windows and idyllic Speyside setting, is the perfect choice for a church wedding. 

The church can accommodate up to around 120 people at a service and marriages are conducted according to the rites of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

If you are considering a religious ceremony in the Moray or Speyside area and are interesting in learning more about a wedding at Gordon Chapel please feel free to contact us using the form opposite.