An architectural interlude

We’re taking a short break between perfume posts this week and veering off in another direction entirely to present you with a photographic essay on one of the historic buildings we’ve recorded recently (but never fear, we’ll be back on course next week!).

The building, a Victorian villa,  appears to have been built in 1899 by the delightfully named Matilda Sneesby (very Roald Dahl-esque), wife of Christchurch printer William Sneesby. They lived there with their family until the 1920s. The building itself has some fascinating architectural features and additions, laid our for your perusal in the photographs below.

North elevation of 34 Harvey Terrace with bull nosed veranda, cast iron laces work, chamfered timber posts, timber fretwork brackets. The east end has been walled in.

North-facing entrance to the house, with bullnose veranda, cast iron lace work, chamfered timber posts and timber fretwork brackets. The east end has been walled in, as you can see. Image: P. Mitchell.

2.Bay window on the east elevation. Identical bay windows have been found on other houses suggesting that they were available pre-built or as a kitset (not sure of wording for this).

Bay window on the east elevation. Identical bay windows have been found on other houses. Image: P. Mitchell.

Fireplace removed from the parlour.

Beautiful fireplace removed from the parlour. As you can see, the chimney piece has been made to look like black marble, which was, of course, far more expensive than a wooden imitation. A manufacturer’s trademark – a single Scotch thistle bloom with “REGISTERED / TRADEMARK” around it – was found on the back, suggesting possible Scottish origins. Image: P. Mitchell.

Hallway arches like these were used to separate the ‘public’ and ‘private’ areas of houses. The front rooms of a dwelling were considered public because these were the rooms most likely used when entertaining guests.

Hallway arches like these were used to separate the ‘public’ and ‘private’ areas of houses. The front rooms of a dwelling were considered public because these were the rooms intended for entertaining guests. Image: P. Mitchell.

Traditional moulded skirting boards and architraves. These went out of fashion in the early 20th century as they became more expensive to produce. Note the child’s scrawl. Touches like this remind us that these buildings were people’s homes

Traditional moulded skirting boards and architraves. These went out of fashion in the early 20th century. Note the child’s scrawl on the wall above. Touches like this remind us that these buildings were people’s homes as well as the architectural remnants of a bygone era. Image: P. Mitchell.

Another ceiling rose, in another room.

A ceiling rose. This house was unusual in that there were three identical ceiling roses – of this design – in three different rooms. Typically, they vary from room to room. Image: P. Mitchell.

Ceiling roses. 34 Harvey Terrace was unusual in that there were three identical ceiling roses in three different rooms.

Another, slightly different ceiling rose, found in one the smaller rooms of the house. Image: P. Mitchell.

his double window was at the south end of the Phase 1 (original) build. The window on the right was boarded up when the house was reconfigured at some time in the early 20th century

This double window was at the south end of the original part of the house. The window on the right was boarded up when the house was reconfigured at some time in the early 20th century. Image: P. Mitchell.

The south wall of this room held a fireplace or coal range associated with the kitchen which had been removed. The kitchen is most likely to have been the room beyond the opening, which was still being used as a kitchen in 2011.

The south wall of this room held a fireplace or coal range associated with the kitchen that had been removed. The original kitchen is most likely to have been the room beyond the opening, still used as such in 2011 (albeit somewhat different in appearance). Image: P. Mitchell.

This wall is something of a puzzle. The ceiling shows evidence of a wall having been removed, and the wall shows evidence of a door having been removed. The wall was probably removed first, and the wall relined. Then the door was filled in at a later time. The main hallway lies beyond the filled in door way. The wainscoting was not original.

This wall is something of a puzzle. The ceiling shows evidence of a wall having been removed, and the wall shows evidence of a door having been removed. The wall was probably removed first, and relined. Then the door was filled in at a later time. The main hallway lies beyond the filled in door way. The wainscoting was not original. Image: P. Mitchell.

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