Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Regency Redux

I had a lovely research day at the library recently - fun to move into a cubicle beside a sunny window, set up one's belongings and get comfy with a pile of books. I felt familiar resonances of university life as I abandoned the book-nook occasionally for a tea break (our library is so equipped) and a gallery visit. As I researched I was delighted to tie together threads from two previous blog entries (and the lovely Madoc visits that inspired them.)
While browsing one of the local histories I'd pulled off the shelves, I came across an entry about this house. I'd commented on this place in one of my August entries. I was fairly sure the house style was Regency Cottage but a few add-ons had puzzled me. The book I found, Fabric of a Dream, by Brenda Hudson, chronicled the settlement story of Madoc and Elzevir Townships. And Brenda describes the house as "French Regency Style", noting the characteristic shuttered windows and French doors , and the picturesque garden setting which is SO Regency.
Then Brenda answers my August question about the inhabitants: the house was owned by the Coe family. The father of the home's owner was an Empire Builder - a mining speculator involved in railways and the settlement of the area, who amassed holdings of some 15,000 acres. The nearby settlement of Coe Hill takes his name. The son lived large in the Prince Regent-inspired way. He built this home as a "showpiece in grand living", with stables at the back for the thoroughbred horses he raised, and a deer park. And the house that he built still has a grandeur about it.
And the other thread my research revealed? The author of the book, Brenda Hudson, was the woman who invited my friend and me in from our Madoc stroll to visit her and her home, the former Madoc Courthouse.

1 comment:

  1. How perfectly lovely! Even though we talked to Brenda Hudson about her book, I had completely forgotten that I'd read those details about the house. Good research, my friend!