The First British Bungalow

Heritage Calling

Single story dwellings under the name Bungalow have been around since the mid-19th century. The bungalow became both a symbol of bohemianism and the building type of choice for the aspiring upper middle class seeking an affordable second home in which to enjoy the new concept of ‘the weekend’.

Dr Andy Brown, Planning Director at Historic England, takes us through the mysterious origins of the bungalow in Britain.

The first modern British bungalows were designed by little-known English architect,  John Taylor, (1818-1884), and built at Westgate-on-Sea, Kent 1869-70.

The term ‘bungalow’ originated in the Bengali region of India, meaning ‘house in the Bengal style’. But is this really where John Taylor’s design came from? Perhaps Taylor was merely designing cheap but weatherproof houses for working people, the culmination of a long-harboured aspiration  of a socially-responsible architect.

fair-outlook One of Taylor’s bungalows- ‘Fair Outlook’, formerly ‘The Hut’, completed by August 1874.

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