Sash windows have dominated most windows in the UK throughout the 18th and 19th century. This type of window is a popular part of homes during the Victorian era. In the early 1900s, sash windows were not as widely used as before. Recently though, there has been a resurgence of sash windows amongst home owners within London and across the UK.
But when was the first time sash windows were used in London houses and how did it became popular back then? Below is a detailed discussion on the history of the sash window in London.
First use of sash windows
There are no accurate records on where and when sash windows were first used in homes. There are many speculations which believed it was first used in France. This was due to the origin of the name “sash” which means “chassis”, or frame in French. However, the early use of sash windows amongst French homes doesn’t make use of a sliding frame and counter-balancing system. During their first use in France, sash windows utilised a swivel block instead. Some experts believe the actual first usage of sash windows as we know them began in London after the Great Fire incident of 1666.
Sash Windows and Robert Hooke
There are some Historians who believe the sash window design is attributed to Robert Hooke. Robert Hooke is a famous philosopher and architect who lived during the 17th century. Hooke was a London surveyor and helped in the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. He was able to design several noteworthy buildings such as the Ragley Hall, Buckinghamshire and Montagu House. These buildings utilised sash windows. Hooke’s credit to the creation of sash windows is the invention of counterbalance weights. The separate weight is responsible for holding the position of the window.
London Building Act
After the Great Fire, a London Building Act was proposed a year after the incident. It required window sills to be installed in homes. According to the act, windows needed to be four inches deep or more. In 1709, the legislation was passed and most homes within London complied with the act. This meant houses within London had a sliding sash window installed during this time. This can be due to the paranoia many Londoners felt when they experienced the Great Fire.
Sash windows were made in order to make homes safer for the residents in case another incident like the Great Fire might occur in the future. There are no clear records as to who invented sash windows. There is a possibility Robert Hooke contributed to the creation of this type of window but whoever was responsible, sash windows have become a well-loved addition to the London home.
If you’re after Installation, Replacement & Upgrade Specialists for Sash Windows or Casement Windows visit us at The Specialists in Traditional Sash Windows or call us on 0800 389 7384 to arrange a visit to our showroom today.
We endeavour to serve as much of the South-East of England and surrounding counties as possible and have been installing & renovating sash windows, casement windows and doors throughout these areas since our founding in 1999. We cover areas including Central London, South London, South West London, Surrey, Berkshire, Kent, Hampshire, Middlesex and Sussex. Please see the areas we serve for further location details.