An Introduction To Sash Windows

Sash windows have a long history, having been a prominent feature as long ago as the 18th century. Today they are seeing a new resurgence as homeowners seek to emulate the elegance of period, Victorian and Georgian design, appreciating their superior craftsmanship and design.

Origins Of The Sash Window

Until recently, it was thought that the first sash windows appeared in Holland in the latter part of the 17th century, however evidence suggests they may were an English invention, with their origins in the early 1600s. Some experts have even suggested that they may have been a French development that spread throughout Europe as its name is taken from the French word for frame, “chassis”.

Early Examples & the Victorian Period

In the UK, the earliest known examples are from several aristocratic properties including Chatsworth, Kensington Palace, Ham House and Hampton Court during the end of the 17th century. Thought of as a status symbol, sash windows were perfect for replacing the traditional casement windows popular of the time. The sash window was the most popular design in Victorian homes, with four panes being the standard style. In many Victorian properties, sheet glass was used primarily, with plate glass being reserved for only the most important rooms. In the later part of the 19th century, more elaborate designs were developed, including a type of window that pivoted inwards to make cleaning easier.

Decline Of The Sash Window

By the 1930s, the sash window had fallen from grace with only Georgian style properties retaining them, and by 1949 they were suffering from their lowest popularity ever. As the century progressed, sash windows were replaced with hinged steel casements followed by double glazed aluminium windows.

The Sash Window Today

With the modern interest in conservation and reclamation of old materials, the popularity of the sash window is back on the rise. Georgian and Victorian styles are being reproduced even in modern properties and traditional craftsmanship is once more in demand. Contact SashwindowsLondonLTD today for a quote, to see how we can help you.