English Cottage Revival Architecture
in Historic Chatham, Virginia

By Henry Mitchell.

During the early 1900's, parallel to the Colonial Revival movement, many American house designers turned to the English countryside for inspiration. Elements of the Romantic English Revival included half-timbering, prominent chimneys, massive and/or steep roofs which might suggest a thatched configuration, and often asymmetrical form.

Romantic English Revival designs' popularity was boosted during World Wars I and II, during which the English-speaking nations were allied together in life-or-death struggles, and English cultural roots became both historically and politically significant.

In Chatham, the only representations of the Romantic English Revival are several modest English Cottage Revival homes on Main Street, Whittle Street, Peach Street, and Catalpa Drive. The Chatham examples are akin to the town's extremely numerous Cape Cod Revival houses, and much less numerous Colonial Revival cottages, except that they have characteristic variations in prominent chimney placement and picturesque entrances.

(See also architectural pattern books from the period, containing English Cottage Revival examples.)

38 Whittle

38 Whittle Street was a Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog house constructed for Mr. and Mrs. Herman Henderson.

670 South Main

670 South Main Street was the home of the family of Dr. Ernest Overbey, local dentist and long-time mayor of Chatham. The original center-front portion was built in 1935–1936 by William and Marion Hogg for their daughter and son-in law, Jean and Ernest Overbey. Additions to the left, right, and rear of the house were completed by the Overbey family during the 1940's and 1950's. (See further information.) It is currently the home of the Klimmek family.

528 South Main

528 South Main Street.

536 South Main

536 South Main Street.

244 Catalpa Drive

244 Catalpa Drive.

262 North Main

262 North Main Street.

129 Peach Street

129 Peach Street.


This website and its ChathamGuide.com portal are sponsored by Mitchells Publications.