What Are the Characteristics of the Tudor Style Home?

The Tudor style shares its name with the British royal dynasty in power during the period when this style was developed, from 1485 to 1603. Today, the style is also referred to as "medieval revival." Typical features of Tudor-style exteriors include Tudor arches, oriel windows and exposed half-timber framing. Tudor interiors are often characterized by heavy oak furniture, stone hearths and carved oak paneling.

  1. The Tudor Arch

    • The Tudor arch is a common feature of this architectural style.
      The Tudor arch is a common feature of this architectural style.

      The distinctive Tudor arch can be found throughout Tudor-style buildings in areas such as doorways, window surrounds and fireplaces. The Tudor arch is pointed at the top, like its predecessor the Gothic arch, but it has been flattened into a wider shape. Tudor arches are typically constructed from natural stone or intricately patterned brick.

    Oriel Windows

    • Oriel windows typically have small panes.
      Oriel windows typically have small panes.

      Oriel windows, like other bay windows, protrude from the flat surface of an architectural structure. They may be rounded or three-sided, and are often supported underneath by decorative corbels or brackets. Oriel windows may be encased in a decorative Tudor arch, and typically have small panes that may be made of stained glass. This type of window is also commonly found in Victorian architecture.

    Other Design Features

    • Three gables grace the front exterior of this stately Tudor style home.
      Three gables grace the front exterior of this stately Tudor style home.

      One feature often found on the exterior of Tudor-style homes is crossed gabled roofs. A gable is the triangular shape created when two sides of a roof join at the top. A cross gable is created when two or more triangular roof structures are built perpendicular to each other. Additional design features common to Tudor-style homes include steeply pitched roofs, prominent chimneys and small windows and doors. Tudor interiors often feature luxurious fabrics, tapestries, wrought-iron fixtures, Oriental carpets, and botanical or religious themes.

    Materials Used in Tudor Homes

    • This Tudor cottage features brick, stucco and exposed timber.
      This Tudor cottage features brick, stucco and exposed timber.

      The earliest Tudor houses were framed in oak timber and completed with a medieval construction technique known as wattle and daub. The timber structures were filled with a material made of woven branches, known as wattle, and coated with a sticky organic substance called daub. Today the wattle and daub technique is regaining popularity as a sustainable building technique. However, most modern-era Tudor-style homes are still constructed of plaster or brick, with ornamental half-timber added to the home's surface to mimic the original construction technique. Tile roofs are common in Tudor architecture, but false thatched roof styles are also popular. Stone is widely used in the construction of Tudor arches over doorways, windows and fireplace surrounds. Ornamental brickwork is also common, especially in the herringbone pattern. Floors are usually made of oak planks, and interiors often feature exposed timbers on ceilings and walls.

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