Victorian Homes came into being in Britain and British Colonies during the reign of Queen Victoria as a way to commemorate her rule, and are still found in abundance in the UK, North America and New Zealand. Originally built by architects who travelled from the UK to colonies to set a common pattern to the buildings, they gained some variation in style as per the topography of the land but stayed true to its original reference…
WORDS: RINKU B
THE Victorian style of homes reflect the design and architecture of homes that were popular during the reign of the British Monarch, Queen Victoria (1837-1901).
Interestingly, many of the details that we now associate with this style are actually eclectic interpretations of older architectural movements such as Medieval Gothic and Romanesque.
These were mostly prevalent in Great Britain and in British colonies, still remaining a defining feature of most British towns and cities.
DEFINING FEATURES OF A VICTORIAN HOME:
While there would be a variance in the types of Victorian homes, there are still some defining features that are common to all.
EXTERIOR: (1.) Steep, gabled roofs, (2.) round angles, (3.) towers, turrets and dormers, (4.) Shapely windows – bay windows, (5.) Stained glass and (6.) Decorative woodwork in bright colours.
INTERIOR: (1.) Two or three stories, (2.) Floorplans featuring added nooks, (3.) High ceilings, (4.) Intricate wooden trim and (5.) Ornate staircases.
TYPES OF VICTORIAN HOMES:
GOTHIC REVIVAL (1830-1860)
Gothic Revival homes were inspired by medieval churches in Europe; as such, they’re often compared to castles. They’re distinct, thanks to steeply-pitched roofs, pointed arches and front-facing gables, which are laden with a delicate wooden trim called ‘vergeboards’.
Modeled after Italian Renaissance villas, these homes are typically just two stories. In contrast to other Victorian styles, they have low roofs and wide eaves. However, true to this style of architecture, they also host highly ornamental brackets.
SECOND EMPIRE (1852-1870)
Influences for this style can be traced back to France during the reign of Napoleon III. These houses tend to start out with a simple rectangular or square base. However, there’s no shortage of character. They feature mansard roofs, which have a heavy pitch on all four sides, and plenty of ornate millwork on the home’s exterior.
QUEEN ANNE (1875-1905)
Perhaps the most famous of all Victorian styles is the Queen Anne. Coming late in Victoria’s reign, these properties feature especially heavy ornamentation, gabled roofs, rounded towers and large windows that are equally functional and decorative.