Princeton Capital Blog

Tudor Architecture

July 30th, 2013

Tudor architectureTudor Architecture

When referring to the architectural style, the term “Tudor” is not historically correct. It doesn’t refer to buildings typical of Tudor England (early 16th century) but instead to a style popularized in the United States during the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The style is more of a catchall loosely based on a variety of elements from medieval English architecture regardless of the size from humble cottages to stately manors.

Tudorbethan represents a subset of Tudor revival architecture; the word is modeled on John Betjeman’s 1933 coinage of the “Jacobethan” style, which he used to describe the grand mixed revival style of circa 1835–1885 that had been called things like “Free English Renaissance”. “Tudorbethan” took it a step further, eliminated the hexagonal or many-faceted towers and mock battlements of Jacobethan, and applied the more domestic styles of “Merrie England”, which were cosier and quaint. Outside of North America, Tudorbethan is also used synonymously with Tudor revival and mock Tudor.

The Tudor style fell out of popularity around World War II when a resurgence of patriotism encouraged an appreciation for a more American style, that is, Colonial Revival.

What Makes a Tudor Home

Tudor homes are best known for sharply pitched roofs and the “storybook” feel.

They also often have hewed timbers for a rough look called half-timbering. It’s often filled with an elaborate brickwork, and sometimes stucco.

The chimneys are often elaborate and very tall.

Also, mock Tudor has overhanging first floors above pillared porches, dormer windows supported by consoles, and even at times thatched roofs. Often the roofs are tile or steel to look like a thatch.

Inside, there is a large entry hall, and wooden staircases as well as lower ceilings in many of the rooms.

Windows are hung in groups of two, three or four. Most often casement as opposed to double-hung, the windows are multi-paned, with panes sometimes arranged in a diamond pattern.

Living In A Tudor Home

Most Tudor homes are quite old and may need upgrades in electrical wiring and plumbing as well as upgrading windows.

Overall, the homes tend to hold up well because they’re made of solid wood and brick.

Multiple gables with intersecting roof lines can mean multiple leaks and numerous headaches. Check the interior thoroughly for water damage and inspect the roof’s integrity. The same holds true for the dormers, which are built into roof lines and prone to leaks.

If you leave in the old casement windows, you’ll need to check regularly for tight seals and working storms. Tudor homes possess a lot of wood detailing, in the form of half-timbering, wood overhangs, and trim, which should be examined for moisture problems and will need regular stain or paint applications.

Modern Tudor Homes use plastic and concrete to mimic the wood, and will need to be checked regularly for cracks.

Is this your favorite architecture so far?

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