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100 years ago: Houses for a wealthier era

19 May 2023

May 18th, 1923.

CHANCELLOR Dowdall has given in the Consistory Court of Liverpool a decision which may raise the hopes of incumbents all over England. He granted a faculty for the demolition of one wing of an over-large rectory; and for various alterations which would result in lessening the cost of maintaining the house, which possessed four reception-rooms and fourteen bedrooms. The amenities of the countryside will certainly suffer if this course is followed elsewhere. But there need be no alarm lest beautiful houses like the rectories at Church Langton, Puddletown and Great Snoring will suffer; they will not lack purchasers, if need be. What needs removal is the result of the sheer folly of past years: the wing built by the fellow of a college, in order that he might take more pupils; the huge dining-room thrown out by the parson to accommodate his dinner-parties of forty; the vast rectory built by the doting mother of a younger son, in order that he might not be less splendidly housed than the elder son who succeeded to the family estates. The successors of inconsiderate folk have to maintain at great expense houses for which they have no desire, and which bring them under suspicion of being removed by wealth and state from real sympathy with the majority of their parishioners.

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