Bray's Designs for Cottages and Villas by Joel Bray

This book provides valuable evidence of the early development of middle-class suburban housing around London.


Ink & watercolour on paper
26.5 x 21.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£6,000 ( Total: £13,000)
Acquired in:
Marlborough Rare Books

At least two of the designs show locations in Middlesex, a rural area within easy reach of London, which became increasingly popular with middle-class householders choosing to live in more peaceful locations outside the city during the 18th and 19th centuries. These developments have been linked to changing ideals of bourgeois family life that emphasised individualism and privacy. Business life was increasingly separated from domestic life and property ownership became valued for the status it conferred.


Howard Montagu Colvin, 1699-1840, recorded the work as in ‘private ownership’; bt. by vendor Sotheby’s, 2009.

Venue details

The Geffrye Museum of the Home 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, London London E2 8EA 020 7739 9893

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The museum is closed to the public for a major, transformational development project. It will reopen in winter 2019.
During closure, the restored almshouse will remain open for tours and a full programme of events will be run in the front gardens.

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