In addition to general architectural influences, this progressive change in style resulted from several other factors. In the 1850s, the abolition of tax on glass and bricks made these items cheaper yet a suitable material and the coming of the railway allowed them to be manufactured elsewhere, at low cost and to standard sizes and methods, and brought to site.

There are a number of common themes in Victorian housing:

  • Sanitation: regulations were introduced progressively from the 1850s to raise the importance of sanitation features, including correct drainage, waste facilities (the "ash pit" or "dust bin"), and toilet facilities either in the form of an outside privy or inside water closet.
  • Hot and cold water: at the start of the Victorian era, some houses had running tap water and a boiler for hot water. By the turn of the century, hot and cold running water were a common feature.
  • Lighting powered by gas was available in many towns from the start of the Victorian era. By the end of the Victorian era, many houses had gas.
  • A basement with a cellar for the storage of coal, required for open fires and to heat water.
  • Sash windows but with larger panes of glass, from the 1850s, than the characteristic 6 plus 6 smaller panes seen in Georgian and Regency architecture.
  • Vegetation and small garden were often incorporated into Victorian homes, as forms of nature were prized by the suburban domestic ideal.


A Victorian generally means any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901). During the Industrial Revolution, successive housing booms resulted in the building of many millions of Victorian houses.

Victorian houses follow a wide range of architectural styles. Starting from the early classicism inherited from Regency architecture, the Italianate style gained influence in the 1820 and 1850s, and the Gothic Revival style became prevalent by the 1880s. Later in the Victorian era, the Queen Anne style and the Arts and Crafts movement increased in influence, resulting in the transition to styles hipically seen in Edwardian houses.

Architectural Features

In Victorian times, population growth, and the Industrial Revolution which saw a migration of workers from the countryside to the cities, resulted in successive housing booms in the 1850s and 1870s that saw the creation of millions of houses. These catered not only for the rich but also the new "middling-classes."



Classicism, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism prevailed during the Victorian era. Each of these developed its own style of artistic expressions. In 1848 the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed by Dante Rossetti and William Holman. Their aim was to produce colorful photographic paintings directly from nature. To transform realism to typological symbolism they sought the help of literary works of Shakespeare and other contemporaries.


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