Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Will All Historic Homes In The Chiswick Area Have Sash Windows?

By Damian Hounslow

There is an answer to why all historic homes in the Chiswick area have sash windows. This ancient village in England is now part of Greater London. The majority of its houses are from the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian periods, being built during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Some of the principal properties don't have this form of window treatments, of course. Chiswick House is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Palladian architecture, for instance. `Sashes were an English invention from the late 1600s, after the Great Fire in London, and have been the most used window treatment since.

The long Victorian years saw a more decorative style, but this kind of window was still the most used. The short reign of King Edward VII saw a return to Georgian simplicity and the standard 'six over six' design for apertures. This refers to the six panes of glass in the two movable panels of each four-foot wide window.

This region, which is now part of Greater London, was a convenient country retreat before the city began to outgrow its original boundaries. The permanent residents lived by fishing and by agriculture. The name of the village meant 'cheese farm'. The atmosphere changed as fishing was ruined by river pollution and an influx of permanent residents from the city changed the fields to suburban streets.

The community, whose name means 'cheese farm', continued to grow during the years leading up to the first world war. It suffered a lot of bomb damage during the war, but its homes were rebuilt in the vernacular. It has continued to be a fashionable refuge for prosperous cosmopolitan folk who desire proximity to London in a gracious village atmosphere. There are parks, some pubs that date back to the 1700s, and many cultural activities. Fine dining and a wide variety of shops appeal to both residents and visitors.

The repairs were done carefully to retain the architectural integrity of both the houses and the area. Using sashes was architecturally consistent without any loss of comfort or convenience. Expert restorers and reproducers of authentic styles are easily found in London and its environs, so there is no lack of help or information on the subject. The many listed properties in Chiswick help to inspire the whole community with a desire for preservation.

Understanding why all historic homes in the Chiswick area have sash windows is important for residents and those who might wish to become part of this place which is a valuable heritage from the past.

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