OCT 14, 2015

A Brief History of the Sash Window

Sash windows are considered to be one of the most elegant types of windows a house can have, with their symmetrical features and simple design. They’re one of the most prominent visual designs of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and were the most popular type of window by the Victorian era. Whilst their popularity declined throughout the 20th century, they are now enjoying a revival based on their classic charm.

Origins of the sash window

The word ‘sash’ comes from the French word ‘chassis’, meaning frame, however sash windows are thought to have originated in either Holland or England in the late 17th century. The style has since synonymous with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses.

Early history

The sash window was first seen in England in palaces and great houses, such as Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Chatsworth. They become an instant status symbol, and were installed in both old and new houses. Not only were they aesthetically superior to the old casement windows, they were a lot more practical, allowing for larger panes of glass to be fitted and more light to enter rooms.

Window tax

Whilst England was seeing a massive change in architectural design, the window tax was brought in, in 1696, with a further excise tax on glad in 1746. This only increased the status of the sash window, as many of them were blocked in an attempt to evade the taxes.

Later history

In the 18th and 19th centuries, sash windows were built as casements to be fitted into Gothic and Tudor revival properties. They were elaborate in their construction, concealing pulleys and weights. Later, they were combined with cast iron balconies and margin lights to create the delicate regency look.

Sash windows today

It’s an alarming fact that three-quarters of original sash windows have been lost, with 20th century replacements there instead. Despite this, a growing movement in building conservation and public interest in Georgian and Victorian design and craftsmanship has seen people reinstating sash windows, and moving away from insensitive replacements.

At Homesecure 24Hrs Ltd, we pride ourselves on offering an expert sash window repair service. Our experienced team of glaziers understand the unique design of sash windows, and know the best way in which to treat sash windows. If you have a problem with your sash windows, give our friendly and professional team a call or contact us today.

Created on 14th October 2015
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