Trying to describe Victorian architecture is a very complex debate, as different countries during this period in time had completely different building design and technique. So if you were trying to describe the Victorian building in England compared to America for instance there would be many discrepancies. Parts of Continental Europe also had different interpretations on how to erect and construct buildings in the Victorian age. The Victorian style that we are talking about is when Queen Victoria was monarch of England, and for a decade or two after her passing.
Popularity of Victorian Buildings
Many Victorian buildings are still standing today in Britain, and in recent times a trend of copying Victorian design and architecture has been most prevalent by new home builders. One of the most common Victorian designs is the use of shingles on the roof, and this all stems from the industrial revolution. Shingles were used primarily for design purposes as they allowed for a much more complicated roof design due to their flexibility. These Victorian Shingle Style roofs often had several gables, and this continued even on the ground floor with overhangs.
Other Popular Roof Styles
Not every Victorian English home had shingles on the roof, some featured a sort of Gothic Revival type affair which enabled the builders to construct tall, sharp and pointy roofs, which added height that gave a most imposing look to the building, even though the extra space afforded by the construction was very rarely actually used.
The Simple Victorian Design
However, there were many homes built during this period that had much simpler forms of roofing, and these included the Folk Victorian Style. These homes were of much simpler construction, using materials that were mass produced during this period of the industrial revolution. This plainer design of home was at a time of course when there were no cars, and therefore the concept of a garage had yet to be thought of. It was not until the very end of the Victorian era that the automobile was actually invented.
Homes would all have many chimneys as there was a fireplace in every room to keep the occupants warm. Other common designs you would find on Victorian building were bay windows, slate roofs, iron railings surrounding the property and different colored bricks.
Most Victorian homes were individually designed according to the owner’s specifications and so each home was very much individual. And if the house was for a rich person then better materials and more lavish design would be the order of the day. In these sorts of homes, you could find indoor bathrooms with flushing toilets and provision for gas lighting. In part two of this blog we will be looking more at the indoor décor of a Victorian home, what type of flooring was used, drapes, paintings and ornaments. This of course was for the rich man, the poor in Victorian times mostly lived in one room with their whole family and there were plenty of this status.