The Wonderful World Of Timber Windows

gothic timber sash window
Unusual Timber Windows: A striking gothic arched sash window adds character to this home's façade

Over the years, the team at Ventrolla have been lucky enough to work on a huge range of period properties from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras – including terraces, cottages, mansions, villas, schools, hospitals, courts and historic civic buildings. And as timber window specialists, the selection of window styles that we’re called upon to restore, repair and replace is vast, too. While most of the windows we work on can be classed as sash or casement windows, there are also some more unusual windows in these beautiful heritage buildings. Here are a few of our favourites:

1. Yorkshire Slider

Also known as a Yorkshire Sash, these horizontal sliding windows have been in use since the 17th century and are thought to be the style of window that preceded the vertical sliding sash. They are often still found in cottages located in the North Yorkshire area, but they aren’t restricted to Yorkshire and were used throughout the UK. Traditionally these windows are of square proportions – and open by the inner sash sliding behind the outer window.

A Yorkshire Slider being made in Ventrolla's Workshop
A Yorkshire Slider being made in Ventrolla's Workshop
2. Hopper Window

These are hinged along the bottom edge and tilt inwards to open. Hopper windows are generally used to increase ventilation, in kitchens, basements or bathrooms – and often paired with other windows (fixed or openable) or found above doors for extra light. They became popular during the 19th century, when transport was mostly by horse and carriage creating a dusty environment, enabling householders to let air into their home without having a large window open, which would let dirt in, too.

A timber hopper window, by Ventrolla
A traditional timber sash window with hoppers to aid opening, by Ventrolla
3. French Window

Inspired by the tall, floor-to-ceiling windows they saw during the Italian Wars, the French took this style of window and made it their own. Not only do these elegant windows let light flood into a room, but they offer practical access to balconies or internal rooms, which is why they are also often called French doors. Typically installed in pairs, French windows open outward, together, and were traditionally made from iron or wood.

French window and arched sash by Ventrolla
A timber French Window (or French Doors) add light to a space as well as being a feature in their own right
4. Circular Windows

Sometimes known as an ‘oeil-de-bouef’ (or ox-eye window), these small round or elliptical windows add a decorative touch to period properties – and are French in origin. These windows usually resemble a wheel with glazing bars as ‘spokes’ and often feature in an upper storey, as a roof light or above a door in Georgian architecture.

Circular Timber Window by Ventrolla
Circular Timber Window by Ventrolla
5. Arched Windows

Adding unique character to period homes and heritage properties, there are a range of different styles of arched window including true arches, rakes, gentle arched-heads and even gothic arches. The Victorian’s were influenced by gothic architecture, and re-introduced gothic arched windows into the design of their buildings, often with sashes built in. These elegant windows – pointed rather than rounded at the top – are a distinctive feature in Victorian properties, letting the light into hallways and stair cases, and adding a dramatic look.

The distinctive style of an angled arch on a Gothic Arched sash window
The distinctive style of an angled arch on a Gothic Arched sash window
Spectacular details on a timber arched head sash window, by Ventrolla
Spectacular details on a timber arched head sash window, by Ventrolla

Do you have timber windows in your period home?

Whatever style of window you have in your home, if you need it replacing or repairing, it’s advisable to call on a timber window expert who has experience in crafting a wide range of shapes. Ventrolla have worked on properties with windows of all styles, and craft replacement windows which mirror originals in their workshop. Contact us today to arrange a no-obligation survey.