Where did granny flats come from? Who first thought of the idea? And why would granny want to live in a flat?
The ancestor of today’s humble granny flat is the dowager house. A secondary dwelling, albeit usually still a moderate sized house, that was commonly found on the grounds of large English, Welsh and Scottish estates. They were made available for the widow of the estate owner, known as a dowager, when the heir of the estate was ready to inherit the large family home.
The dowager, was popularly used to describe an elderly widow of wealth and dignity who no longer occupied the position she held during marriage. She could continue to live on the same property she had lived for years and remain close to her family, while also maintaining her independence and not feeling as though she was in the way of the new official owners.
Why was she called a dowager? Because she was entitled to a dower! A dower was a property arrangement, usually entered in to at marriage, that provided for the wife in the event that she survived her husband. Not to be confused with a dowry or dour, the dower often gave the wife a life interest in the husband’s property or at least ensured her livelihood in widowhood.
The British royal family maintains a dower house in London, as well as one in the country. Well-known dower houses have included Clarence House, Marlborough House and, for a period in the 18th century, Buckingham Palace (then known as Buckingham House)!
Although she was respectfully referred to by her informal title ‘Queen Mother’, Queen Elizabeth was technically a dowager queen after the death of George VI in 1952.
So if you’d ever imagined yourself living the life of a royal, or maybe a duchess or noble man, Perth’s Granny Flat Specialist would be more than obliging in building your very own dowager house.
Imagine living out your twilight years enjoying cucumber sandwiches with tea overlooking some rolling green fields… or maybe a milo with lamingtons sitting out on the verandah!?
Either way we can custom build your granny flat to suit your needs and budget.