Not just any bricks though, we like bricks with character. Bricks with age. Bricks that have seen the comings & goings of the years. We love property but we’re really passionate about period & character properties.
But just what is a period property? And how do you know which period you should be describing your house as when you’re advertising it for sale?
We decided to ask our Director, Julia Baden, to clear it all up for us.
As you’d imagine, there’s nothing special about a period property. It’s simply a property from a particular period in history. Certainly the builders at the time didn’t really know what was to come after them, they just built according to the techniques, materials & fashions of the day.
You can see quite an overlap on styles, particularly around the changeover years but in general, these are the periods in housing that we talk about.
Tudor (1485 – 1603). The style that’s often thought of as Olde England with the traditional black & white timber framing. Fireplaces were quite large by today’s standards; Intended to heat as much of the home as possible as well as cooking, since England was much more prone to snow then. Tudor houses often have steep pitched roofs and a myriad of tiny leaded windows. Speke Hall is a stunning example of a Tudor Manor House but many smaller homes are still in everyday use around the UK and appear quite frequently on the market.
Stuart (1603 – 1714). Spanning a period often referred to as the golden age of British architecture, you’ll find earlier timber-framed buildings although more usually with a tiled rather than thatched roof. After the Great Fire of London in 1666 – and with the lessons of the Civil War in mind – regulations stipulated rebuilding with brick. Often the ground floor was commercial with the first & second floors being the home. Sometimes that arrangement can still be seen today although many internal layouts haven’t lasted the test of time as families demanded ever more space.
Expect to see sash windows and often elaborate brick chimneys.
Georgian (1714 – 1830s). A period which characterised symmetry. Often built with brick, stone, sash windows and later, stucco. You might also spot bricked up windows, victims of the Window Tax levied on homeowners between 1696 & 1851.
Elegant in their simplicity, often with long identical rows and central chimneys. Pediments above windows and doors on a building’s façade with typically large, high-ceiling rooms and you’ll often find three or four story townhouses built around garden squares.
Look out for more decoration as you move into the Regency period of the early 1800s, typically ornate railings and more exterior decoration.
Victorian (1830s – 1901). Often terraced with solid walls, large bay windows, high ceilings & cast iron fireplaces which is why they’ll often have cellars for coal storage.
The sash windows of earlier periods are still to be seen but usually with fewer, larger panes and standardized factory-made bricks were now in common use. From the 1850s, regulations started to introduce better sanitation though some properties may still have what was once the outside loo!
The stained glass window you may see in the hallway is a lovely feature common to that period along with wooden floors, skirting, coving and picture rails.
Edwardian (1901 – 1914). Although only a short period, very visually distinctive with houses often built in a straight line with red brickwork & wooden-framed porches.
Influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, interiors saw wide hallways, larger gardens, extravagantly big windows, flamboyantly designed fireplaces, stained glass windows and mock-Tudor cladding.