What is a Period House & How to Identify a Period Property


What is A Period Property?

A period property is generally considered to be any property constructed before World War One. Period properties can in turn be subdivided into eras. The eras are named after the King or Queen who reigned at the time.


Georgian: 1714-1830/37

Georgian

The Georgian era spans the reigns of George I-IV from 1714-1830. The brief reign of William IV from 1830-1837 is generally considered as part of the Georgian era. Read our comprehensive guide to Georgian architecture here.

Victorian: 1837-1901

Victorian

The Victorian era refers to the period during which Queen Victoria reigned in Britain. Read our comprehensive guide to Victorian architecture here.

Edwardian: 1901-1910/14

Edwardian

The Edwardian era spans the reign of King Edward from 1901-1910; however it is generally extended until 1914, the outbreak of World War One. Read our comprehensive guide to Edwardian architecture here.



It is important to note that there were no rules in place that properties built during the reign of a certain monarch had to adhere to specific styles. Rather certain styles became common during these periods and as such it is very often possible to guess the approximate age and era of a property by analysing its features. In the guides referenced above, we have covered the styles and characteristics of each era in detail. Below, we take a typical property from each era and highlight the features that make the property in question distinctly from that particular era.

Georgian

The above streetscape of Merrion Square in Dublin is distinctly Georgian. The traits listed below are all present and all very much typical of Georgian architecture.

  • Hipped roof invisible from street level giving a cliff edge effect.
  • Uniformity of styles between all buildings on the terrace.
  • Steps from front door directly onto the footpath.
  • Georgian fanlights above the front door.
  • Smaller windows on the top floor as these were generally the servants’ living quarters.
  • Large windows on the lower floors as these were the living quarters of the property’s owners.
  • Small panes of glass in all sash windows as sheet glass hadn’t been invented yet.
  • Basements visible from the street – servants prepared meals in kitchens in this part of the house.
  • The terraced houses above lack symmetry. This is in contrast to large Georgian detached properties which are typically symmetrical.

Victorian

The above streetscape of Victoria Road in Cork is distinctly Victorian. The traits listed below are all present and all very much typical of Victorian architecture.

  • Tall and thin.
  • Steep pitched dormer roofs & dormer windows.
  • Bay windows.
  • Decorative bargeboards.
  • Large panes of glass by comparison to Georgian windows owing to sheet glass which arrived in 1832.
  • Asymmetrical, more complex design than Georgian properties

Features not present but typical of Victorian properties

  • Towers and Turrets – these are present in the property below. This property is actually Edwardian which shows how the traits of both eras are often found in a single property.
Victorian

Edwardian

The above streetscape of Park Drive in Dublin 6 is distinctly Edwardian. The traits listed below are all present and all very much typical of Edwardian architecture.

  • Simple, understated bargeboard.
  • Upper part of windows with small panes separated by glazing bars (as per Georgian era) with a clear larger lower pane in the bottom part.
  • Pebbledash upper storey
  • Front garden for privacy
  • Balcony with ornate railing

The property below features additional Edwardian features such as:

  • Timber railed porch.
  • Casement windows.
  • Decorative mock timber frame gable.
Edwardian2