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History of Tudor Architecture
Dating back to 15th-century England, Tudor style architecture is historically transitional, incorporating elements of Gothic and Renaissance architecture to create a style uniquely its own. The name Tudor comes from the fact that this style was initially developed during the reign of Tudor monarchs like King Henry VIII. This period was particularly peaceful and prosperous for England, affording many landowners the opportunity to construct additions to their estates and build brand new manor houses in the style. By the mid-16th century, though, Tudor architecture largely fell out of popularity with Elizabethian architecture taking its place.
Image source: ArchitectureStyles.org
Around the turn of the 19th century until the 1940s, Tudor style homes saw a major resurgence in the United States with many architects designing homes influenced by the historic style. The style of these newer Tudor-inspired homes is pegged as Tudor Revival architecture. They can vary quite a bit from their original 15th-century influences, but retain many of the defining characteristics. Tudor Revival architecture became very popular in affluent suburban neighborhoods around the country, particularly in Washington D.C.
Features of Tudor Style Architecture
Tudor style homes are incredibly diverse, ranging from quaint and cozy cottages akin to Hansel and Gretel to grand, elegant manors designed for the wealthy elite, but almost all of them have a few defining characteristics in common.
Steep, Multi-Gabled Roofs
Nearly all Tudor style homes feature steep, dramatic roofs, typically punctuated with dormer windows. And some of the larger homes feature several different rooflines with multiple gables to match.
One of the standout characteristics of this unique style is its half-timber framing. The timbers are entirely decorative, showcasing exposed wood on the outside of the house to mimic the medieval homes they’re influenced by.
Tudor style homes don’t skimp on the entryways. Oftentimes, the entry of these homes makes a big, elaborate statement featuring grand archways, intricate outlines, and decorative brick and stone.
It wouldn’t be a Tudor style home without a massive chimney (or several). In addition to being large and made of brick or stone, Tudor chimneys also typically come with an elaborate chimney pot, adding to the decorative quality of the design.
Siding plays a major role in the design of these homes because it frequently features a range of materials. Usually, brick and stone are predominantly used with stucco wall cladding punctuating the style.
Famous Tudor Style Architects
Image source: Townandcountrymag.co.uk
Likely the most famous architect associated with this style, Edwin Lutyens was among the first to adapt Tudor style homes to the 20th century, playing a prominent role in developing the Tudor Revival style that’s so popular today.
Lutyens designs included charming countryside homes with elements like openwork brick balustrade, multi-paned oriel windows, and the large, clustered chimneys characteristic of this style. His creations were undoubtedly influenced by the original Tudor homes of the 15th century, but with a personal flair that gave the homes a more fresh and modern appeal.
Some of his more famous homes include Abbey House, located on Abbey Road, which blends Tudor and Elizabethan styles, and Deanery Garden, which was the home of Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life magazine.
Fun Facts About Tudor Style
- The cladding this style is famous for now wasn’t present during the time the homes were initially built in the 15th century. In fact, the original medieval homes featured walls that left the structure of the facade completely exposed.
- In medieval times, gardens defined this style of home as much as the architecture, with many homeowners opting for elaborate designs featuring elements like mazes, fountains, and animal-shaped hedges.
- Most Tudor interiors in the 15th century were full of oversized, heavy, and often uncomfortable oak furniture.
- Tudor Revival style homes are nicknamed “stockbroker houses” because many Americans made their wealth during the roaring ‘20s, which afforded them to build these homes.
Tudor Style Homes for Sale
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