Natural Building since the mid-14thC, Stone Villages of Britain.


Arlington Row, Bibury, England


These homes, built entirely from natural materials, are over 600 years old. William Morris called Bibury, "The most beautiful village in England". The picturesque stone cottages of Arlington Row were built in 1380 originally as a monastic wool store but later converted into a row of cottages for weavers in the 17th century.


Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, England


These are the stone cottages of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, England a market town founded by King Alfred the Great in 880. The homes date from the mid-15th Century. They are built from local greenstone, a pale yellow sandstone that turns green when it is freshly exposed to the air. The floors are supported on oak beams and the roofs are either slate or thatched. Gold Hill found a place deep in the English psyche when it was chosen nearly 40 years ago by a bread baker for their TV advert.
  The HOVIS advert on Gold Hill  

HOVIS TV advert, 1973


To the right of this picture are the massive ramparts of Shaftesbury Abbey where King Canute died.


Castle Combe, England


The wonderful thing about stone is you can use it again and again and again. This is a repurposed English village. In the mid-12th century the Normans built a castle here on the site of a Roman Villa abandoned in the 5th century. By the mid-14th century the stones of the castle were used to build the village of Castle Combe.

If you think the village is familiar it's because it was the set for the 1960's film 'Doctor Doolittle' and more recently 'Stardust' in 2008 and 'War Horse' in 2011. There's a lovely collection of pictures courtesy of the village Inn.

  Castle Combe (1962) from Pathe News  

Castle Combe, Pathe News 1962




Garenin, Isle of Lewis, Scotland


These are the blackhouses of Garenin on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. They were originally designed to house people and livestock in the same building with a partition between them. Low rounded roofs, elaborately roped with stones, were developed to resist the strong Atlantic winds. Originally without chimneys, the smoke made its way through the roof. The traditional village has now come back to life after they were restored by the Garenin Trust.

  Gearrannan Blackhouse Village