West of East India Company
The first publication dedicated to bungalow design was by the architect Robert Alexander Briggs. Bungalows and Country Residences: a Series of Designs and Examples of Executed Works (1891) states, “A bungalow in England has come to mean neither the sunproof squat house of India nor the rough log hut of colder regions. It is not necessarily a one storied building, nor is it a country cottage. A bungalow essentially is a little ‘nook’ or ‘retreat’. A cottage is a little house in the country, but a bungalow is a little country house – a homely, cosy little place, with verandahs and balconies, and the plan so arranged as to ensure complete comfort with a feeling of rusticity and ease.”
In her slim and eloquent volume Bungalows (2014), Kathryn Ferry explains, “Until the mid 18th century familiarity with the term ‘bunglo’ was restricted to the European community in India, but knowledge gradually filtered back to Britain. As conceived by the Victorians, a bungalow was a building concerned with relaxation and recreation… The late 19th century invention of the ‘weekend’ provided more free time; improved transport infrastructure made escape possible; and mass production of materials, and even of entire structures, enabled bungalows to be built on a budget.”
The two pairs of semi detached bungalows at Greenore on the Cooley Peninsula, County Louth, tick all the right boxes from their association with leisure and a coastal location to picturesque sweeping gables and many metres of the all important verandahs. The London and Northwest Railway Company developed Greenore towards the close of the Victorian age. A long gone hotel next to a railway station was built on the quayside for passengers travelling to Holyhead in Wales. At its peak a first class train could leave Euston Station in London at 8.45pm and arrive in Belfast at 9.52am including the four hour sea crossing. Greenore Golf Club opened in 1896. The bungalows, several grand villas and a street of parallel townhouses built for dock and railway workers are all intact. The port is now industrial, the luxury passenger ferries having long gone.