Georgian houses, Victorian houses and Edwardian houses are the three main types of period homes you can find in the UK.



Wondering if your home is Victorian? Take a look at the roof. If it has a steep pitch and is made of slate, it may well be from the Victorian era. Another convincing sign is if it’s decorated with ornate carved ornaments.


Period houses were built before World War I, with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian styles each unique in its own right. Get familiar with the signature features of each kind of property so you can identify your home’s era.

The term ‘period’ means these properties were built before World War I. Their distinctive vintage styles make them stand out from new-builds, adding to their appeal in the market.

At a glance, you can identify a Georgian home by its flat, hipped roof and small window panes, a Victorian home by its Gothic detailing and slate roof, and an Edwardian home by its squat stature and red-brick facade.
If you’re interested in period houses, take some time to get familiar with the tell-tale features of the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. Give this blog a read and you’ll be able to spot the different types of architecture a mile away.

Common features of Georgian homes

Dates: Georgian houses were built between 1714 and 1830 when four King Georges in a row held the throne.

The houses built during this time are typically elegant, formal and symmetrical. They’re also the most in-demand style in the UK. Probably one of the most famous examples is London’s 10 Downing Street.

Other typical features of Georgian houses include:

  • Hipped roofs – meaning the roof slopes upwards from all the sides of the building. Roofs often have embellished cornices with decorative mouldings.
  • Pairs of chimneys on both sides of the house, reflecting the internal location of fireplaces.
  • Small back gardens with no front gardens and pathways.
  • Townhouses with three or four storeys.
  • Sash windows with multiple panes. Look for tall windows on the first two floors and smaller ones on the top storeys.
  • Fan lights – these are curved or arched windows above the front door, designed to let light into the hallway.
  • Flat, shallow and squared roofs with small windows jutting from the eaves.
  • Built with local materials – it was difficult to transport building materials long distances before the railways, so Georgian homes were usually made with local brick or stone.

Common features of Victorian homes

Dates: Victorian houses were built between 1837 and 1901 when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Today, they’re seen in villages, towns and cities, and are probably the most common type of period house we see in the UK.

The Victorian era saw the introduction of the modern terraced house, with a living room at the front and a kitchen at the back. These homes were designed to house the many people who moved into cities and towns for jobs and a better life.

Thanks to the arrival of plate glass in 1832, Victorian homes are often light and bright with big bay or sash windows.

Some other features to look out for in Victorian homes include:

  • Iron railings –front iron railings and gates were popular in the Victorian era.
  • Barge boards – the inverted V-shaped fascia on the side of a roof – were popular.
  • Slate roofs, often with ridge tiles made of terracotta and decorative wooden panels on the ends.
  • Tiled floors in the porch areas and hallway.
  • Stained glass, with floral and geometric patterns, in front door panels and at the tops of windows.
  • Numerous fireplaces, often with grates. Many have since been taken out or – as is often the case in bedrooms – are no longer working.
  • Patterned bricks – Victorian houses often used what’s known as Flemish Brick bond, laying bricks in such a way as to make patterns.

Common features of Edwardian homes

Dates: Edwardian houses were built between 1901 to 1910 – a short period that coincided with a housing boom, particularly in city suburbs.

Edwardian houses were often influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. This was a move away from mass-production and towards using quality, local, handcrafted goods.

Edwardian building standards were an improvement on those of the Victorian era and building materials, including timber and bricks, were of a high standard.

Other typical features of Edwardian houses include:

  • Wide hallways – typically wider than the Victorian houses that came before them, and bigger, brighter rooms.
  • Set back from the road – Edwardian houses were built to cater for a desire for privacy, so they have front as well as back gardens.
  • Chimneys often halfway down the slope of the roof.
  • Steep roofs with gable ends, meaning there’s often space for a loft conversion.
  • Glazed doors – the upper two-thirds of front doors are typically glazed.
  • Fireplace surrounds with shelving, either above or below the mantelpiece, for ornaments and built-in mirrors.
  • Red brick – houses were often built with red bricks from local brickworks.

While you can often spot tell-tale signs of the period a house was built in, there’s also plenty of variety in each era. But some of the distinctive features of each age make it easy to fall in love with period properties.

Key differences between Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian houses

If you’re looking for quick differentiators between the three period types, you should find clues by looking at the roof, the exterior and the windows.

The roof

Georgian houses have hipped roofs

Hipped roofs slope inwards and upwards. They often have an ornamental wall or parapet, giving Georgian homes their typical rectangular look.

Victorian houses have distinctive gabled roofs

The roofs have a steep pitch and are typically made from slate. They’re often decorated with small carved ornaments on the gable ends. Adding to the striking appearance of these roofs are tiles made from terracotta and wooden panels on the gable ends.

Edwardian houses have gabled roofs with softer angles

Edwardian roofs also have a steep pitch and are usually made of slate, except they tend to have a moderate slope for a less dramatic look. Some also have dormer windows that extend from the roof.

The exterior

Georgian houses have a rendered exterior

The exterior is often painted white or cream, so the walls look symmetrical, flat and rectangular.

Victorian houses have a Gothic exterior

This kind of exterior typically has coloured brick and stone, as well as wood and iron decoration. The wall style often looks complicated and asymmetrical.

Edwardian properties have a red-brick exterior

The exterior is generally red brick with stone. The clean lines and understated detail make the houses look solid.

The windows

Georgian houses have small-paned sash windows

Although Georgian windows are large, they consist of small panes – ‘six over six panel’ – that slide vertically to open.

Victorian houses have bay box sash windows

These windows are ‘two over two panel’ and protrude outwards to let the light in. They’re usually framed with thick pieces of wood and sometimes feature stained glass.

Edwardian houses have windows with romantic features

The ‘Old English Revival’ welcomed in narrow-framed designs featuring stained glass, fancy mouldings and arches. Edwardian sash windows often have two clear-glass panes or four panes separated by a thin wooden strip.

How to find out when your house was built

Ever asked the question: How old is my house? When you’re taking out home insurance, you’ll need the answer to get a quote for your property. Here are a few ways to find out when your house was built.

  • Check the ‘title register’ or ‘title deeds’ – these should be sent to you a month or so after you complete the sale.
  • Check survey documents – if you commissioned a survey when buying your home, the survey report should provide the date it was built.
  • Contact HM Land and Registry – visit the HM and Land Registry website to get a copy of the title deeds, which will show when your property was built.
  • Contact your local authority – your local authority should have records that show when the planning permission was granted for construction of your property.
  • Ask the previous owners and neighbours – the last home owner might already have the date of your property handy, otherwise your neighbours may be of help.
  • Check listed building registers – look up your property on The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) to see if your building is listed with the date of its construction.
  • Search local archives – you should be able to find out about your home’s history through a local borough, city or county archive, or even a local studies centre or library.
  • Check the census – to narrow your search to a 10-year window, you can pay a small fee to view property information from census records dating back to 1841.
  • Check the 1862 Land Registry Act – you can view the record of 2,000 properties listed in 1862 for free via the digital archives to get insight into your property’s history.

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