Do you know your Victorian architecture from your Edwardian?
You may have wandered the streets of your local town often, but have you really taken in the beautiful architecture that surrounds you? There are many stunning Victorian and Edwardian homes around, and their features and character attract many homebuyers. But do you know your Victorian from your Edwardian?
Spawning several well-known styles, such as Gothic Revival Italianate and Queen Anne, the term ‘Victorian’ covers the period between 1830 and 1910, the reign of Queen Victoria. Few Victorian homes look the same, as architects took inspiration from Gothic architecture and added French, Egyptian, Italian and even Tudor details. Victorian trends spread nationally thanks to the Industrial Revolution, as sawmills were able to create elaborate materials quickly and cheaply. This resulted in late Victorian homes becoming increasingly, ornate with dark interiors, foreboding furniture and a rather cluttered style.
With the railways came easier transportation of bricks; during this period, patterned bricks became popular. To house the workers who were moving from the countryside to urban areas houses were built in terraces, and often had names and dates placed over the doors. One of the beautiful and iconic features of the Victoria era are the larger six-paned, and later four-paned, vertical sliding sash windows, as well as geometric terracotta floor tiles.
The Edwardian period was relatively short, and began when Edward VII became King. Unlike the Victorian era, there was no need for servant rooms therefore cellars and second floors disappeared, as did the labour-intensive trends of the previous period. Architects were inspired by Tudor framed buildings and stout early 18th century houses. The rise in the new middle class caused a housing boom, and demand for airy homes in easy commutable distance to towns and cities.
Houses were built on big plots and were shorter in height; there was great improvement in building standards and the quality of materials used, and due to the larger plot sizes windows could be set in the front door. The middle class of this period were obsessed with privacy, and so houses were set back from the road, creating front gardens. External decoration was a way for the new middle class to show off their wealth, so many homes had porches and balconies with intricate carved woodwork. Interiors were in complete contrast to the Victorian era, they were elegant, fresh and light with pastel shades and cleaner lines.