What Is a Tudor House?

What Is a Tudor House?
What Is a Tudor House? (Image: Photo by G-Man at Wikimedia)

The Tudor house is one of the most easily recognizable architectural styles in the world. While the style has been popular in England for centuries, the Tudor revival in America began around the turn of the 20th century. Most of these homes were lavishly built by the wealthy, although many of the homes from the latter part of the 20th century are quite modest.

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The Tudor house takes its name from the Tudor monarchs of England, who reigned from 1485 to 1603. An offshoot of Gothic architecture, Tudor estates were smaller and more subtly detailed, with major differences being the windows, chimneys and timber framing.

Exterior Characteristics

Gables with dramatic, sloping roof lines are a hallmark of the Tudor home. The exterior is made of brick, stucco or stone. The functional timber framing of the original English Tudor is merely decorative in the Tudor revival. Large chimneys, arched entryways and casement window groupings are customary. Window panes may have a diamond pattern.

Interior Design

Wood paneling, wrought iron and dark timber ceiling beams are common. Massive stone or brick fireplaces are usually a focal point in family and living rooms.


Tudor homes fair well through time, but the multiple roof lines of the gables should be checked periodically for water penetration. The timber framing must be inspected annually for damage and stained regularly.

Cottage Variation

There is a small-scale Tudor-style cottage called the "Cotswold Cottage." These cottages originated in the Cotswolds, a hilly region in west-central England, and are made of the limestone found in that area.

Fun Fact

One of the most famous Tudor structures is the Hampton Court Palace in England.

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