- Lucinda Lambton
- Published by
- English Heritage
- Publication Date
- June 2011
- 192 pages, 200 illustrations
- 195 x 240 mm
- Architectural History
Throughout the centuries there have been castles, great and small, for animals as diverse as goats and guinea pigs, deer and dogs, cows and bees, pigs and horses, as well as bears and even salmon.
Thus a red sandstone elephant with a castle on its back was designed for bees in Cheshire in the 1800s, and a Grecian temple with tapering Egyptian windows was built for pigs in Yorkshire in 1883. These buildings are not mere curiosities; John Nash applied himself at his most picturesque to a dovecote, while Capability Brown was commissioned to create a classical menagerie and Henry Holland designed an elaborate Chinese Dairy.
These buildings are the happy results of the British passion for both architecture and for animals ‑ emblems of unrestrained indulgence and often unnecessary extravagance. When designing for animals, architects and their patrons could realise their wildest flights of architectural fancy; the inhabitants could never complain, however idiosyncratic their dwelling ‑ as George Eliot wrote in 1857, 'Animals are such agreeable friends ‑ they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms' ‑ allowing the builders' imaginations to flourish unbridled, often with scant observance to architectural convention.
Architecture for animals has been and still continues to be a tremendous British tradition. Palaces for Pigs, fully illustrated with striking photographs, celebrates this tradition, telling the fascinating stories behind the buildings that housed animals and the monuments that commemorated them