Stuart Architecture (1603-1714)

Shell-headed doorway of Tailors Almshouse, Bristol, 1701Under the Stuart kings British architecture took a pick-and-mix approach to Continental influences. Fashions from France, Italy and the Netherlands could be blended in a single building, or Dutchgables on one house could stare across like lifted eyebrows at the Palladian parapet of a neighbour.

In the Jacobean period (James I: 1603-25) the depressed Tudor arch gave way to the round-head arch that had first reappeared in Elizabethan grand houses, though most windows and doors were now square-headed. Decorative gables influenced by those in Amsterdam began to appear in London and spread wider in the Caroline period (Charles I: 1649-1660). An online tour of Apethorpe Hall displays these features and ornate Jacobean interiors.

Kingston Lacy, DorsetAs Surveyor of the Royal Works from 1615-1642, Inigo Jones introduced Palladian classicism to a limited circle, but it did not really become popular in Britain until the following century. Britain was so slow to wholeheartedly embrace the Italian Renaissance that by the time Jones emulated Andrea Palladio, Italian architects had passed from pure Classicism through the more theatrical Mannerism towards Baroque. These later Italian styles filtered into British architecture more quickly, with the result that Palladianism in general follows Baroque in Britain.

In the late 17th century and early 18th century overhanging doorhoods became popular, some shell-shaped.