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Stone, S.H., 2014.

Identification and Place

Output Type:Chapter in a book

The character of any place is defined by both the buildings situated within the area and by the people who live there. It is through the interaction of the building environment with the local population that identity is established. Every place is unique, every town and city possesses its own individual characteristics. A built environment will have evolved over hundreds if not thousands of years to create a situation that is completely distinctive and exceptional, it contains layers of meaning that causes it to have a direct link with its own location. The climate, topography and geology will have produced a particular type of vernacular building, one which responds to the very nature of the area. These buildings, combined with the influences of trade and industry will have guided the evolution of the town or city. Thus every area has an individual personality. For example, a solid East Lancashire mill town that contains terraced houses and factories constructed from grit-stone, which are situated in the valleys and on the steep slopes of a hill close to fresh running water, has a very different quality to say a town or village in Suffolk. This is a fairly flat county with little in the way of solid building materials. The topography allows for a more formal organisation with wide streets and low buildings. Flint is used for more important constructions such as churches, while houses were originally made from render on top of a timber frame, or more recently brick. These counties, on opposite sides of our small country, are both very particular and have vastly different characters.