Common features in Victorian buildings

Despite the differences and continuous upgrade of the architectural designs in of the Victorian period, there are a few common similarities that can best identify a Victorian building:

1.Steeply pitched roof

A pitch of a roof is the vertical rise of the roof’s surface divided by its horizontal span and is a measure of its steepness. A pitched roof is therefore one that slopes downwards, typically in two parts at an angle from a central ridge, but sometimes in one part, from one edge to another usually over 200. Victorian buildings were however steeper than normal, close to the pitch angles used in churches.

2. Ornate gables

Victorian buildings have decorated gables in a fancy way the traditional costume. The wood paneling in Victorian houses featured ornate carving and the ceilings were high.



3. Rooftop Finials or spires.

Basically, these are decorative caps to the point or end of a roof. They are architectural devices typically carved in stone and they are there to emphasize the apex of a dome, spire or tower. The design of the roof finials was later modified using iron railings after their discovery and abundant supply from factories that rendered them readily available.


4. Dark furniture, wooden floors and wall paper finishes.

Most of the Victorian buildings had strong patterned wallpaper finishes with mainly strong floral designs which have been currently replaced with painting works in the modern day architectural works. The interiors of buildings were highly decorated with dull colors and rugs covered on the floors as in the images below.


5. A brickwork porch / wraparound porch

A porch is a covered area adjoining an entrance to a building and usually having a separate roof. These were used in the Victorian era but were of brick work. This evolved with time after the discovery of iron railings as a potential alternative to the brick work.

6. Painted iron railings

Iron railings became a common invention in the Victorian era. These were also used in modifying finials designs with a paint finish of a preference color, usually green or blue. In 1861, many iron railings were painted black to mourn the death of Prince Albert.

Other features:

7. Narrow geometric tiled hallways

8. Fireplaces in every room

9. Canted bay windows and sliding sash windows

10. Stained glass windows





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Posted on: February 9th, 2022 by London Building Contractors No Comments