Any meaningful conversation about Tudor Style begins with a certain amount of era definition. This period in history is associated with the House of Tudor, which is generally accepted as the 16th Century in England. The more than iconic Henry VIII is the unchallenged towering figure of the period as seen below. In current culture, Wolf Hall , the recent BBC opus, is a dramatic rendition of the era. The purpose of this post, however, is to focus on the architectural style. In reality this style might best be labeled as Tudor Revival, since it enjoyed a significant high point in 19th Century America. The storybook quality of Tudor Style and/or Tudor Revival, paired with recognizable architectural elements, explains the timeless popularity.
One of the coolest commentators on the current design scene is Ms. Ronique Gibson, who writes for freshhome.com and other sites. In order to simplify this discussion, let’s focus on just a few elements of Tudor style with Ms. Gibson leading the way.
A favorite of mine is the half-timbered facade that Ms. Gibson tells us “refers to the timber structure staying exposed to the exterior and being filled, creating a ‘false’ idea of what the structure is really made from.” This visually arresting item is perhaps most closely and immediately associated with all things Tudor Style. Not far behind for immediate recognition are the steep gabled roofs; again from Ronique: “These rooflines create a cottage or gingerbread home aesthetic that is loved by many.” The Bakken Museum above displays both of these components.
Bay windows, also known as Oriel windows, seem to be floating in a space outside of the line of the structure. Combined with the flattened and iconic Tudor Arch, these elements identity the work very quickly as speaking the Tudor vernacular. The Bakken above shows both and the fireplace below, from the UK, does a great job with the Arch.
It is impossible to ignore the dream-like and storybook aspects of Tudor Style. When in doubt about anything, one can always consult or refer to The Bard of Stratford, William Shakespeare. In this case, the cottage home of his wife Anne Hathaway as shown at the very top of this post. Anne’s home brings to life the ethereal style we have been discussing and also shows us the last element for today, the prominent chimneys that are generally a Tudor Style staple.
Debate will always roar over the purity of any style. The Tudor to Tudor Revival interpretations are not exempt from these robust dialogues. Thanks for reading!