History of Sash Windows

First introduced in the mid-1600s, the sash window has always been simple in design and yet very elegant. As such it quickly became both fashionable and desirable, a symbol of wealth amongst the rich. Throughout the 18th century aristocrats used sash windows to replace casement windows previously installed in 16th century properties.

Shortly after the Great Fire of London in 1666, it was found that timber signs, oak beams and wooden windows had accelerated the spread of the fire and resulted in the borough of London changing its building regulations. Hence it became a building requirement that window frames be recessed behind the outside brick or stone wall and set back from the front of the building facade, which gave birth to what we now recognise as the ‘Georgian’ architectural style.

This era was perhaps the most elegant period for sash windows, as the classic “6 over 6“ Georgian style became the inimitable sash window design. Whilst still limited by glass technology, windows did become larger throughout the 18th Century. At the start of the Victorian era, ‘drawn’ glass had enabled larger, heavier sheets to be produced.

You may be surprised to learn that the benefits of having two sheetsof glass closely bonded into a sealed unit was first patented by Mr Thomas Stetson in 1865, making “double glazing” over 150 years old! Sadly, since the 1960s the indiscriminate replacement of sash windows using mass produced, inappropriate PVC-U casement windows has resulted in thousands of original sash windows being lost, destroying the character and value of many properties in the process.

The sash window however, remains the most efficient ever invented. By opening both the upper and lower sash a few inches, really efficient purge ventilation is achieved, removing stale air quickly and inducing air circulation like no other.

You’ll find we’re attentive to the finer details too, and totally committed to creating authentic sash windows, with the proportions and elegance of the originals, but with all the attributes demanded by modern living