A multitude of styles combined
Whilst Victorian properties do often retain some of the classical features that the Georgians adopted (including columns and proportioning), the Victorian style is also heavily influenced by the renaissance and Gothic revival movement. Both Regency Classicism and Greek influences continued in architecture after Queen Victoria’s accession, but during the course of her reign, in addition to the Italianate style, many historic British sources of interior design inspiration were revisited, including Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Scottish Baronial, the most dominant being the Gothic revival.
Identifying Victorian detail
Many different styles of joinery were often incorporated into single houses. A single property may have half-timbered gables, classical sash windows and a filigree cast iron porch. The “rules” of interior design had become significantly relaxed compared with the formality of the Georgian period. Timber mouldings from the period with only subtle similarities could now quite commonly be seen together.
A few of the ways you can identify a building as Victorian is by looking for some of these Gothic revivalist features including lancet (pointed) windows, porches, dormers and roof gables, along with pointed roofs which are sometimes decorated with a wooden trim that hangs from the edges.
The Victorian era, which included the industrial revolution in Britain, introduced many changes to society and the way buildings were constructed. As such there are even differences to be seen between early, middle and later Victorian architecture. Early Victorian properties typically incorporated more complex design features such as porches, bay windows and overly elaborate interior decoration, but as the period went on the style became simpler, with the industrial revolution making possible the use of new building materials such as iron and glass.
In general, the exterior of a Victorian period property can be identified by the inclusion of bay sash windows, terracotta tiles, ornamental stonework and multi-coloured brickwork – often in red.
The interiors were often filled with decoration, dark fabrics of red and green, wide mantelpieces to accommodate an array of ornaments, cast iron baths and walls typically decorated not with paint but with floral wallpapers, a new invention. Where the Georgian’s were more restrained, the Victorians were extravagant. Indeed, the Victorian age was at the height of the British empire, and the wealth that came with this meant that exotic paraphernalia and ornaments from faraway reaches of the world were now accessible and desired by the burgeoning upper middle classes.
Examples of Atkey and Company’s Victorian period panelled doors and joinery mouldings can be seen by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page. Click here to see the full Victorian catalogue range.