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What is a Storybook house?

The Storybook style of architecture is famously associated with the Cotswolds.

With arched doorways, thatched roofs and inglenook fireplaces, these houses look straight out of a fairy tale, which is why they are sometimes also known as ‘fairy tale houses’.

If you’re dreaming of buying a Storybook home in the Cotswolds, CJ Hole can help. When you register as a buyer with us, we’ll get to know what you’re looking for in your next home and show you any current listings that fit the bill. You’ll also be our first call when a new property matching your requirements becomes available.

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What is a Storybook house?

If a home exudes timeless, romantic charm and looks as if it has hopped straight off the pages of a children’s story, it’s sometimes described as a Storybook house.

Think thatched roof bungalows and chocolate-box cottages, with rolling, verdant gardens and ivy or wisteria growing along the exterior walls. These homes, synonymous with the Cotswold’s area, are typically built from local stone or materials and can date back as far as the 18th, 17th or even 16th century.

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The history of Storybook houses in the Cotswolds

The term ‘Storybook architecture’ was popularised in America after the Second World War. American GIs in England fell in love with the rural old stone cottages and the demand for homes in this style grew in the States.

In England, the history of these so-called Storybook houses stretches all the way back to the 16th century, and so the buildings are typically Tudor in style.

A Storybook house may have a timber frame or be made from Cotswolds Stone in lieu of the standard bricks and mortar. This honey-coloured limestone gives the Cotswolds’ architecture a warm, homely aesthetic.

Builders have been using Cotswold Stone for construction in the Cotswolds since the time of the Saxons. The stone itself is ancient, created from the preserved remains of sea creatures, which provides the unique colour and texture.

Features of a Storybook house

Quirky and higgledy-piggledy are the watch words here. A period home has asymmetrical features, sloped roofs and small, mis-matched windows would be a typical Storybook house.

Other features may also include: thatched roofs, arched doorways, and prominent chimneys which lead down to large fireplaces. Storybook houses often benefit from large gardens and a rural setting as well.

If you’re looking to buy a Storybook house, register with your local CJ Hole branch today.

Further reading

The UK’s most in demand period features

The process of buying a house

Everything you need to know about living in Gloucester

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