What Are The Defining Characteristics Of A Victorian House?


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The Victorian period was one of mass-produced housing on a large scale, with greater use of brick, as timber was getting scarce. Sash windows were arched and later on in the period, arranged in round or squared off bays on the ground floor with delicate carving on the supporting pillars. Front doors were set in elaborate porches and the roofs were visible and edged in decoratively carved timber, often painted white or other colours. Roofs also often featured multiple pitches so that gable ends appeared at the front of a house as a feature, rather than at the sides. Coloured glass was getting cheaper to produce and often featured in the windows and doors of houses at the upper end of the market.

Victorian houses were built in terraced, detached and semi-detached formats but this period also saw the first apartment blocks in inner-city areas, known as 'mansion blocks'. These imitated the form of large country houses but in fact housed large flats for professional with offices in the cities. The main sub-divisions within Victorian housing are Queen Anne style, which added Dutch features such as curved gables, and neo-Gothic, which took inspiration from the churches and cathedrals of the early Middle Ages.

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