17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 13

Country Life


Few places in England could be better suited than Bath for the annual meeting of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. The town itself was a pioneer in what may be called the vetoing of ugly buildings. Indeed, its urban authorities gave the lead to the rural preservers. Most of those who attend this meeting are making expeditions, or have made expeditions, to characteristic bits of English scenery, especially the Cheddar Gorge, which is irresistible to tourists, bit has kept its native character. If I were asked to pick out one village or township most characteristic of the English habit—in the good old days—of fitting the building to the scene, I should select Bradford-on-Avon, which is not far from Bath. It is worth a pilgrimage from any and every preserver of Rural England, better worth it—architecturally—than Stratford-on-Avon. It has all the virtues : the Saxon church ; the bridge ; the dwelling houses that look as if they had been cut in tiers out of the grey hillside itself ; and the whole partaking of the co-operative beauties of vale and hill. Above all it teaches the lesson that we owe it to England to build wherever we can of native stone. The colour may compensate even for unloveliness of form, just as the wrong colour may kill good design.