Edwardian architecture in England

About a century ago, Britain was widely recognised to have conquered all the challenges of domestic life. As an architectural style, ‘Edwardian’ refers to the period 1901 to 1918. The era was a period of revivalism, the ideas drawing inspiration from medieval and Georgian periods. Houses mixed and matched many influences. The Edwardian period was relatively short compared to the long Victorian reign but the housing boom at the time meant that architecture heavily dominated present suburbs.


There was a rise in the middle class and hence the demand for airy larger homes that were easily commutable to the cities and towns. New suburbs sprung up on the edges of cities in leafy outskirts close to new railway lines. The mortgage was not easily accessible, thereby 90% of homes were owned by investors and rented out to tenants.

The new garden suburbs consisted of a mix of semis, terraces, villas built from local materials. Edwardian houses tend to be short in height when compared to early Victorian Homes. Rooms for servants were not needed, hence cellars and second floors vanished. They were built on huge plots than the Victorians. Houses had wider frontages, giving extra space for a hall which was also used as a living area. The underlying themes of buildings and interior design of the Edwardian era were for expensive simplicity, sunshine and air. Colours and detailing were lighter. As gas and electric light became more widespread, walls could be lighter as they did not get dirty and looked better in brighter light. Decorative patterns were less complex, wherein both wallpaper and curtain designs were plain.

The houses showed off their wealth. External decorations were flamboyant and elaborate. Carved woodwork adorned balconies, porches and veranda. Multi paned casements and sashes with simple lead glass sat comfortably within deep bay windows. The entrance was tiled on both path and walls.  Display of flowers was placed to complement floral fabric and wallpaper.

Fine examples of these Edwardian homes can be mostly found in areas like Dulwich and Southeast London. The main features of these homes include

  • Roughcast walls
  • Small paned leaded windows
  • Magpie work and rustic bricks
  • Half-timbering, small featured windows to create a picturesque effect.
  • Wooden porches with turned spindles.
  • Brackets and decorative fretwork.
  • Walls decorated in uniform colours with contrasting woodwork.
  • Bare floorboards decorated with rugs.


Home buyers today are more likely to be interested in Edwardian buildings. These Edwardian architecture buildings are high water marked off the building crafts. A greater, better quality of construction is what Edwardian era guarantees. Building regulations combined with social idealism ensured that buildings built were and remain a model of their kind. This was rather considered to be the golden age of suburb. It was no doubt a form of development that Britain pioneers as an antidote to smoke-grimed Victorian industrial cities.