Freshford & District Local History Society
Wednesday, 25th October 2023
Freshford Village Memorial Hall
In his book on Wiltshire Gate Lodges James Holden states that the obvious purpose was to provide accommodation for the people protecting the entrances to estates, but they had a second role also. From the 18th century on, the grand houses of the gentry were often built out of sight in secluded locations. The passer-by could not see and admire the big house; only the lodge was visible. So the lodge stood in for the house, its appearance designed to make a statement about the wealth and good taste of the owner.
Originally, the lodges were very similar; austere, single-storey classical cubes with perhaps only one room doubling-up as accommodation for staff. The great majority of gate-lodges were built in the second half of the 19th century, The earlier lodges were usually built as classically-inspired ‘boxes’. Though superficially grand, they usually had minimal comforts inside besides a fireplace. The wishes of the proprietor, were of paramount importance over the comfort of staff, who were probably only too glad to be given a home when they could no longer work.
Most surviving lodges have now been sold off and extended to offer up-to-date accommodation.
Members free Visitors £3.00 Everyone welcome