On the whole, the architecture of England is a mix of different styles, ranging from the stucco-fronted Georgian homes to the ultra modern developments and complexes present in every city. But what are the features that denote your home as being Georgian or Edwardian? Of course the sash windows prevalent in the period houses throughout Buckinghamshire are common detail.
If you’re interested in purchasing a period home, or unsure what era your home belongs to, and what the features are that make it such a popular style that the U.S. market loves to recreate throughout New England, we hope this guide will help identify the period in which it was built.
The Georgian period spans from 1714 until 1830, with Late Georgian styles from 1830 to 1837. Properties built in this period, such as those built by John Nash, the architect responsible for designing Buckingham Palace, were built to be spacious and comfortable, with grand proportions that emphasised a heightened sense of space and light.
It was typical during this era for the first two storeys to be occupied by the owner and their family, while the staff and servants lived on the upper two floors. This is why the rooms in the top storeys are usually smaller, having smaller windows and lower ceilings, in contrast to the elegance of the family home below. The kitchens were on the lower floors, but away from the main house, as this was the domain of the staff.
More than often with Georgian properties, a noticeable feature would have been the appearance of a bricked up window, which was due to the window tax between 1696 and 1851. The window tax was the equivalent of income tax – the more windows a property had, the greater wealth of the owner.
The window was bricked up as a tax avoidance strategy, reducing the rate of tax that needed to be paid. After the end of the window tax, rather than reinstate the window, many owners decided to leave them as they were.
The style was very much based around symmetry, with the houses appearing rather plain, with simple facades. They were built with brick and stone, later with stucco, and sash windows were a constant feature.
Later period houses, while King George IV was regent for his father, had more ornate decoration included, such as ornate iron railings.
The homes were typically three or four storeys, render painted cream or white on the ground floor during earlier period properties. They had a symmetrical flat appearance, with a balanced layout in the interior, and were often build around garden squares, as most did not have a garden of their own.
The Edwardian period was between 1901 and 1910, rather a short era, and heavily influenced by The Arts and Crafts Movement. This promoted a simple design, with an appreciation for handmade, in retaliation for the mass-production Victorian period.
After the boom in construction during the Victorian era, Edwardian house builders were forced to homes in the suburbs of the cities, creating ‘garden suburbs’, such as that in Hampstead. Edwardian houses, having more space to be built, were lower, more squat, wider and roomier, with more emphasis on hallways and bigger windows.
The homes were set away from the road, fronted by a garden, with a lounge area at the front and the rear of a property. They were built in straight lines from each other, and had more ornate details such as tiled floors, stained glass features, and contain large rooms, with high ceilings. The had a red brick construction, often a timber porch, mock Tudor cladding, and large bay windows.
These properties in the suburbs were primarily for the middle classes, and as such did not usually require any servants quarters, and features like cellars were rarely included, but instead had spacious gardens. Wallpaper was more of a feature, with the transition from gas and oil to electric lighting meant that walls were less dirty, and the larger windows meant decorative walls could be seen better.
Homes from both these eras were constructed for during quality and charm, and the enduring appeal of them is testament to this.
No matter the period of your home, should you be looking for fresh new period style sash window replacements, contact us today, and see how we can help.