Victorian House - from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

Victorian House - from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

Victorian house - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A Typical Victorian house

A Victorian house as built in the United States and Canada is a type of house popularized in the Victorian era. They are often three stories high with an octagonal or rounded tower, a wraparound porch and great attention paid to detail. The architectural style of a Victorian house is often either Queen Anne, Stick, Italianate, French Second Empire, or Richardsonian Romanesque. Shingle Style houses are also considered Victorian houses. Victorian houses are sometimes called gingerbread houses for their elaborate porch and gable ornamentation. The Victorian house shown in the picture has curved glass windows in the tower. A group of multi-colored Victorian houses in San Francisco are known as Painted ladies.

In the United Kingdom, a Victorian house is any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria, in any style of Victorian architecture.They typically have slate rooftops and bay windows.

The term Victorian architecture can refer to one of a number of architectural styles predominantly in the Victorian era. As with the latter, the period of building that it covers may slightly overlap the actual reign of Queen Victoria after whom it is named.


The Victorian era lasted 64 years, from 1837 to 1901. Greek Revival architecture retches from the later part of the Colonial era into the beginnings of the Victorian era. Similarly, the Arts and Crafts movement in The United States started a few years before the end of the Victorian era.

Varieties of Victorian architecture

  • British Arts and Crafts movement
  • Gothic Revival
  • Italianate
  • Jacobethan (the precursor to the Queen Anne style)
  • Neoclassicism
  • Neo-Grec
  • Painted ladies
  • Queen Anne
  • Renaissance Revival
  • Romanesque Revival (includes Richardsonian Romanesque)
  • Second Empire
  • Stick-Eastlake
  • Industrial architecture

There are also Folk and Shingle Style Victorian Houses. Please note that the names of architectural styles (as well as their adaptations) varied between countries. Many homes combined the elements of several different styles and are not easily distinguishable as one particular style or another. Highly decorated houses are sometimes called gingerbread houses.

featuring purely Victorian architecture.[citation needed] It is also unique in that a majority of its structures are made of brick, The homes were built in the Victorian-era styles of Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, among others.

The South End of Boston is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest and largest Victorian neighborhood in the United States.[1][2][3]

The Distillery District in Toronto contains the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.See also: Georgian architecture.

The California Southern Railroad'sSan Diego, California passenger terminal, built in 1887. /
railroad depot at Disneyland in Anaheim, California /
An example of the American Queen Anne style in Lebanon, Illinois. /
A "gingerbread" house.

A Victorian house in Alameda, California /
Melbourne's world heritage Royal Exhibition Building and fountain built in 1880 /
Rialto buildings, Melbourne, built during the city's land boom of 1888 /
Banff Springs Hotel, built in 1888

VictorianArchitecture (1837 - 1901) 19th century

The Victorian period is the time when Queen Victoria ruled Britain.
With the beginning of the railways and new manufacturing processes, previously locally produced building materials became available all over the country. This meant the end of all houses in the local area being built using the same building materials. Houses made of local stone, timber and straw could now, for example, be built of bricks from Bedfordshire and slate from North Wales.
The new mass produced bricks were cheaper and required less preparation and maintenance, so for the first time all over the country new mansions, chapels, cottages, barns and factories were made from the same material irrespective of region.

A public building in a town
Despite the availability of these new products vast numbers of the working population in the countryside were still living in tiny cottages, hovels and shacks well into the 20th century. In towns poor people lived in back-to-back houses are called terraced houses.
Rich Victorians favoured villas ( not the same as Roman villas), whilst the emerging middle classes of Victorian England lived in superior terraces with gardens back and front and a room for servants in the attic.

Typical Characteristics of Victorian houses
  • Bay windows
  • Iron Railings
  • Flemish brick bonding
  • Patterns in the brickwork
  • Stained glass in doorways and windows
  • Decorations on the walls
  • Roofs made of slate
During the next few pages you will find out more about Victorian houses.
N.B. You may not find all the different characteristics all on one house.

Terraced Housing

Houses for workers were built in rows.
During the Victorian times more and more people moved into the new industrial towns to work in the mills and factories and rows of terraced back-to-back houses were built to house them. The houses were joined together to save space. Each row was called a terrace.

Terraced houses were very small with two rooms upstairs and two downstairs. There were often no gardens, only small back yards where the outside toilet was.
The houses on Coronation Street are typical Victorian houses.
Can you spot the cellars?
Sliding sash windows were common throughout the Victorian period. Plate glass arrived in 1832 - five years before Victoria ascended the throne.
The Victorians invented a way to make big panes of glass, called ‘sheet glass’. This type of glass arrived in 1832 - five years before Victoria ascended the throne. True Victorian windows had six and later four paned vertical sliding sash windows single glazing bar down the middle.of Victorian houses have today changed their windows to more modern ones.
Victorians also loved to decorate their windows.
Bay Windows(windows that projects, normally with flat front and slant sides) were very fashionable in Victorian times. Typical Victorian bay windows are three sided. The ground floor bay window often had its own slate roof, or it might continue into a first-floor bay, again topped with an individual roof.
Bay windows like the ones below are clues to when the houses were built.
/ Examples of Bay Windows

Decorative Brick Work Houses were often decorative with fancy brickwork.

Decorative Brick Work

Houses were often decorative with fancy brickwork.
Flemish Brick Bond
Victorian houses were built using the Flemish brick bond.
header, stretcher, header, stretcher
The long side of a brick is called the stretcher.The end of each brick is known as the header.
/ Flemish brick bonding.

Decorative Wooden panels (bargeboards)

Decorative roof tops

Photographs of Victorian Houses

Victorian Mansion (Oakwood House in Maidstone)

Semi-detached Victorian Villas

Elegant Victorian Terraced Houses

Semi-detached Victorian houses

A Victorian School

Semi detached Victorian Villa

Inside Victorian Houses

Many people in Victorian times lived in homes without any of the modern comforts we take for granted today. People had to manage without central heating or hot water from the tap – instead they had open fires and heated water on a big cooker called a range.

Without vacuum cleaners or washing-machines, looking after the home was very hard work.

Poor Houses
Poor people in Victorian times lived in horrible cramped conditions in run-down houses, often with the whole family in one room.
any people during the Victorian years moved into the cities and towns to find work in the factories. People crowded into already crowded houses. Rooms were rented to whole families or perhaps several families.
Most poor houses only had one or two rooms downstairs and one or two upstairs. Families would crowd into these rooms, with several in each room and some living in the cellars.
These houses had no running water or toilets. Each house would share an outside water pump. The water from the pump was frequently polluted.

water pump
Some streets would have one or two outside toilets for the whole street to share!
Houses were built close together with narrow streets between them and open sewers running down the middle of the streets. Rubbish was tipped into the streets. It was no surprise that few children made it to adulthood.
Rich Houses
Homes for the middle classes and the upper classes were much better. They were better built
and were larger. The houses had most of the new gadgets installed, such as flushing toilets, gas lighting, and inside bathrooms.
Wealthy Victorians decorated their homes in the latest styles. There would be heavy curtains, flowery wallpaper, carpets and rugs, ornaments, well made furniture, paintings and plants. The rooms were heated by open coal fires and lighting was provided by candles and oil or gas lamps. Later in the Victorian period, electricity became more widespread and so electric lights were used.
Rich Victorian had water pumps in their kitchens and their rubbish was taken away down into underground sewers.
Most rich people had servants and they would live in the same house. They slept on the top floor of the house or in the attic. The servant rooms were often cold in the winter and stuffy in the summer.
Girls as young as twelve worked as maids . They were clothed, fed, and given a roof over their heads in return for a wage – a maid would earn about £7 a year.
Candles continued to be an important source of lighting. Paraffin lamps were introduced in the 1860s, and gas lighting became increasingly common as the century went on.
Victorian Homework links

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