Victorian Houses Now
In the United Kingdom, a Victorian house means any home that
was built in the reign of Queen Victoria. These houses came in
various architectural styles. At that time, there was no concept
of cars, so these houses were designed without any garages.
Candles were the important source
of lightning the houses built during the years from 18371901.
At that period, people shifted to new towns in order to work
in factories. Back to back joined houses were made in a row for
those workers. Each row of housing was said to be terrace. These
houses were small but fulfilled their residential needs. Facilities
in terraced housing were two rooms, small backyard and outside
Sliding sash windows were the most famous style of windows at
that time. Later on plate glasses concept was arrived. Windows
had six sliding sash that were vertically panned with one glazing
bar. After sometime, six sliding slash were replaced with four.
Victorian houses were decorated with Flemish brick bond style
that means the sequence of header and stretcher. Brick end is
said to be header and long side of each brick is stretcher. Mostly
Victorian designed houses have them with beautiful and stylish
bricks. Moreover, wooden panel and roof tips were used as a decorative
to increase the beauty of the house.
At that time, most people were unable to take all benefits and
comforts that we take today. Most of the rooms had fireplace so
every house had chimneys. Today we use central heating or radiators
to heat up house but they had no choice except fireplace. They
had open fires where they used to heat water in big cooker with
Poor vs. Rich Victorian Houses:
There were both poor Victorian houses and rich Victorian houses.
Poor people lived in harsh conditions and mostly there had only
single room for the whole family. They had no special toilets
and placed tin baths near the kitchen. Outside water pumps were
shared between houses. Houses were too close with narrow streets.
Few streets had one or two toilets to share.
Victorian Row Houses (Painted Ladies) in San Francisco
One the other hand, Victorian houses designed for middle and
upper class people were of much higher quality. They were nicely
constructed with gas lightening, inside toilets, beautiful curtains
and wallpapers. These houses were broad and decorated with expensive
carpets, paintings and furniture. Light, coal fires and gas/oil
lamps were also present. Rich Victorians also had servants who
lived in the same house. Moreover, young girls worked as maids
to aid in the household works.
Typical characteristics of Victorian houses:
- Bay windows, iron railing and Flemish brick bonding were common
to Victorian houses.
- Roofs were made with slates that were carried by the rail.
- There were no garages.
- People loved to decorate their houses with sash windows that
were opened by sliding the windows upside.
- Some houses were built with clay tiles that were locally available.
- Basements were present in most houses with a cellar for storing
In the U. S. today we have many different Victorian style houses
(some call them Victorian-era houses). Some are built new with
many amenities, while some are older homes that keep to the
traditions of the English Victorian houses. The Victorian architecture
reflects a popular style from the 1860s to the early 1900's.
Some of the more popular Victorian-era houses include:
- Queen Anne
- Gothic Revival
- Rustic Gothic
- Free Gothic
- Second Empire
- Stick Style
- Romanesque Revival
- Shingle Style
- Colonial Revival
- Free Classical
On the East Coast, especially in the Boston and New York areas
there are many different varieties of Victorian houses. The same
can be said in the richer neighborhoods throughout the U. S. such
as the Painted Ladies Victorian houses in San Francisco (pictured
The classic Victorian house style that many people picture in
their heads are that of the Queen Anne pictured below.
Queen Anne Victorian House