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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.

Victorian House
Victorian House

Candles were the important source of lightning the houses built during the years from 1837—1901.

Terraced housing:

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 toilet.


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 a tap.

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.

Row Houses in San Francisco
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 the coal.
    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
  • Tudor
  • Gothic Revival
  • Rustic Gothic
  • Free Gothic
  • Italianate
  • Second Empire
  • Stick Style
  • Exotic
  • Romanesque Revival
  • Shingle Style
  • Folk
  • Colonial Revival
  • Georgian
  • Regency
  • Filigree
  • 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 above).

The classic Victorian house style that many people picture in their heads are that of the Queen Anne pictured below.

Queen Anne Victorian House

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