Identifying your Sash Window

Sash windows have been a mainstay amongst Britain’s most beautiful period properties for over two centuries due to the increasing interest in maintaining the original design and craft that went into these trademark design features. But how do you identify which era your windows originaly derive from?

Here at Fortis & Hooke we are specialists in the renovation of sash windows and we are experienced in working with various styles from the different periods and eras. If you need help identifying when your windows were first installed then follow the tips below.

There are three popular styles that were developed throughout three separate eras.

Single-Hung Sash Window

The oldest design is the single-hung sash window, these originated in Georgian times and can be recognised because they feature only one moving section that features just a single pane of glass.

Double-Hung Sash Window

This style was eventually developed into the double-hung sash during the same era and it’s a trend that went on to be utilised as an architectural feature in many Victorian and Edwardian properties. The double-hung sash features two sections that can be opened and closed and this approach has been incorporated into many different models in which the panes are placed in multiple sequences, usually either four-over-four, six-over-six, nine-over-nine or six-over-two.

Horizontal Sliding Sash Window

An additional design of the sash window was the horizontal sliding sash, comprising of two sashes that are moved horizontally rather than vertically. This design is quite a bit rarer than the vertical sash design and doesn’t really stand out as belonging to a particular period of history.

The horizontal sliding sash is however commonly found in the North of England, more specifically Yorkshire, where this particular design is rumoured to have originated from.

Whilst the three aforementioned styles are the ones most commonly identifiable, do not fear if your sash windows don’t align with this list. If that’s the case it’s more than likely that your windows were formed as a variation of one of the ‘big three’ styles mentioned above.

As with all art, designers and artists developed their own concepts of the single and double-hung sash windows as time progressed with various creatives preferring to adopt different methods.

An example of this era-based design favouritism can be found with the Georgians. History tells us that they particularly enjoyed the double-hung sash window when fitted with a six-over-six sequence of panes. Georgian architects also appear to have introduced smaller panes, that were then separated by several glazing bars.

Conversely, Victorian’s seem to have preferred using one large pane of glass and typically decided to feature their larger sashes on the ground floor of a building, with the upper storeys normally reserved for smaller sash window designs.

Further still, the Edwardian era gave us the multi-pane approach; a method using multiple smaller panes of glass in the upper sash, contrasting with just a single pane of glass on the lower sash window.