||REGENCY, in British history, the period of the last nine years (1811 - 20) of the reign of George III, when the king's insanity had rendered him unfit to rule and the government was vested in the Prince of Wales (Later George IV) as regent. The period witnessed the end (1815) of the Napoleonic Wars and growing social unrest, which was met by the Tory government of the time with harsh repression. Socially, the period took a distinctive coloration from the fay and dissolute regent and his companions.|
It was the time of a notable flowering in arts, letters and architecture. In literature the period marks the height of the romantic movement in the work of such poets as Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Byssche Shelley and in the novel of Sir Walter Scott. Regency furniture shows a similar refinement of design and taste and a strong influence of the styles of the French Dictoire.
A major feature of both REGENCY and Georgian architecture is the size of the windows, which decreases as you travel up the house, with the largest windows being on the ground floor, and the smallest windows being on the top floor, where the servants quarters were situated. This highlights the fact that as you go from the bottom to the top floor the height of the ceiling on each successive floor decreases, which is a reflection of the importance of each floor of the house, to people in the regency period.
A typical building of the period is called CUMBERLAND TERRACE. It was designed by John Nash, a famous architect from that period. One of the major differences between Georgian and REGENCY architecture is that REGENCY architecture is much more ornate. For example in the case of Cumberland Terrace, it has a Portico, which is a feature of Greek architecture, which was a source for many of the ideas in Regency Buildings. Another key feature of Regency buildings is that they are usually 2/3 stories high, this building appears to be 3/4 stories high.
Like most REGENCY style architecture, the front doorway is elevated with a series of steps leading up to the doorway. The doorway itself is usually arched, which is another feature of Greek architecture, used in REGENGY buildings.
The building is symmetrical in plan.. Also it is geometric in nature. The building is made up of lots of regular shaped sections. This is a characteristic of REGENCY architecture.
Another feature of the REGENCY period, highlighting the more ornate style, and the ancient Greek influence, are the pillars, which are in a Corinthian style, which is highlighted in the picture on the right. The building is a store on Regents Street in London, and was designed, again, by John Nash. Cumberland Terrace does not actually have Corinthian pillars. It has Ionian pillars, which also have ancient origins.