Tudor Style Architecture
Tudor style architecture is very distinctive and is different from the style of any other period before or since. The style employs a lavish use of timber with the fronts of the houses displaying a great deal of decorative as well as structural timber work. As the majority of rooms would have been fitted with a fireplace, Tudor houses required a network of chimneys. The chimney was another part of the building where the architects could get creative, with many being created with incredibly detailed brickwork.
Principle Characteristics of Tudor Architecture
The principles of Tudor design were not only applied to the outside of buildings, the interiors too also saw the extensive use of timber with many rooms having rich wood panels on the walls. Decorative moulded plasterwork was also popular and was used to decorate ceilings and cornices, with many of the designs used being taken from earlier artistic works. The key features of Tudor architecture include decorative half timbering and a steeply pitched roof with prominent cross gables. The windows too are also of a distinctive style with small window panes, and of course the many and varied types of decorative chimney pot.
Tudor architects were able to make each home distinctive from the next with subtle changes to the patterns created with the brickwork. The houses built for the wealthier classes differed a great deal from the homes of the ordinary people of the time.
Up until the Tudor period the majority of the wealthy classes were living in buildings which had been built to survive attack, which meant that living conditions were normally not very comfortable. This all changed during Tudor times as buildings were being built designed for people to live in comfortably, care was also taken to make the building look appealing, as it was no longer necessary to think about defences such as moats, arrow slits and other defensive features.
Tudor Style Windows
The windows of Tudor buildings are very distinctive, especially in the buildings made for the wealthy. At the time glass was very expensive, so to have a home lined with tall windows which were often several feet in length was a significant symbol of social status and wealth. Homes for the common classes had much smaller, narrower windows, often with diamond shaped small panes of glass which would be held together with lead casings. Oriel or bay windows are a common feature of Tudor architecture, more commonly appearing on the upper floors of large buildings. Such a window provides a much wider outlook onto the outside area.
Tudor Style Doors
Tudor doors were substantial and often made of oak. They were also another area which be designed to be decorative as well as functional. Panelling was a common feature of such doors, many of which were shaped at the top unlike modern rectangular doors. Many were designed to fit inside decorative Gothic style arches, with the door being slightly set back and the archway providing a form of shelter.