How to Spot a Victorian House

Victorian houses were typically built between 1837 and 1901. Despite this relatively short period of time, a large number of stunning houses were constructed during this time.

These buildings are usually very distinguishable, as they feature a number of striking architectural characteristics.

The Roof

This is one of the most distinctive features of a Victorian house. Roofs during the Victorian era were almost exclusively made from slate, which set them apart from houses that were built previously.

The roofs are usually ornately decorated with small carved ornaments on the gable ends and the ridge where the two sloping sides of the roof meet. Ridge tiles made from terracotta were also added to make the roofs of Victorian houses even more striking.

Special wooden panels were also added to the gable ends of Victorian roofs. This helped to make the roofs one of the most attractive parts of the house and a feature that would always catch the attention of visitors.

Patterned Bricks

A lot of time and care was used when creating Victorian houses. Different brick patterns became popular in the Victorian era, with each special pattern being given its own name. One of the most common brick patterns that were used to create Victorian houses is called Flemish Brick bond. This striking pattern was created in the exterior walls of Victorian houses by turning the bricks in different ways so that the short end of one brick was placed next to the long side of the next brick.

Stained Glass

Colourful and elaborate mosaic stained glass patterns were often created in the doors and the tops of the windows of Victorian houses. Stained glass is very durable and attractive and can often be seen in Victorian houses even if other parts of the house have been renovated.


Victorian houses were usually built on a grand scale to appeal to people who had moved to the city from the countryside. Terraces were included to create an extra feeling of space and it was common to see people during the Victorian era relaxing on their terraces in the evening.


The Victorians were also fond of porches and they were often placed in front of the house’s main door. These porches came in a wide range of styles such as brick or enclosed stone. Large porches became the main focus point of these houses and were often extended several feet in front of the main door and topped with their own slate roof.

Sash and Bay Windows

Most Victorian houses can also be distinguished by their windows, as plate glass became increasingly affordable during the Victorian era. Windows became larger to accommodate this plate glass, and vertically sliding sash windows with either four or six panels became popular. Projecting three-sided bay windows also became very fashionable during the Victorian era and the bay windows that were fitted in the ground floor of these houses often came complete with their own slate roof that was decorated at the edges.

Morgan Asphalte are the leading providers of roofing services across Wimbledon and the wider London area. Specialising in all roofing types, including Victorian slate roofs, our expert team are on hand to carry out all repairs and renovations. Get in touch today to find out more.

Posted on 24 March 2015 in House Types.

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