The Channel Islands have a rich heritage of Victorian and Regency buildings, mostly in the towns, though the countryside often imitated them by putting in larger windows and creating symmetrical façades. But these are often no more than masks on the face of much older structures. The Duke of Richmond Surveys of Jersey and Guernsey, carried out in 1787 on the very eve of the Regency period, show an astonishing density of houses, and by penetrating them it has been possible to isolate an even richer treasure of older houses.
Here are traced the origins of standing buildings in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, their evolution during the rest of the medieval period and their adaption to later styles up to the eighteenth century. All this is related to trends in north-western France and in England, whilst at the same time emphasising the natural inclination of any relatively isolated communities to create their own variations on layouts and designs.
The Richmond maps are printed together here for the first time, with all surviving buildings marked on them , followed by tables of house details that flesh out as far as possible each one of the 2,500 studied. The main part of the book provides a historical context before looking in depth at the many features that are our legacy from these far-off times. Sark, Alderney and the smaller islands are included, all with their own peculiarities and delights, and detailed studies of ninety houses, complete with comprehensive photographs and plans, endeavour to make this a ground-breaking celebration of local architecture.