Federation Queen Anne style

The Major Federation Style: 

Queen  Anne Style

Above: Adcote, Shropshire, 1876, by Richard Norman Shaw


above: Chigwell Hall, Essex, 1876, by Richard Norman Shaw

Lowther Lodge, headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society, 1873 by richard Norman Shaw

'Alba Longa', a very exuberant example of Queen Anne style architecture at Appian Way, Burwood

Jump to:


Below left: Caerleon, located in Bellevue Hill, Sydney, was the first Queen Anne Style home constructed in Australia.

Yes they are fussy buildings, but they're also great fun to see! 

  • Look at the whimsy, the theatricality!

  • How many other Australian Houses give so much satisfaction to the viewer?

  • Can you see an elaborately dressed woman with a laced bonnet in her features?

  • The Queen Anne style promoted 'Sweetness and Light' and shows a feminine decorative influence, compared to the more muscular Federation Bungalow style with its solid turned verandah columns.

Queen Anne and Federation Queen Anne styles


Queen Anne style originated in England with architect Richard Norman Shaw, and grew very popular. Many immigrant architects in Australia knew the style well. 

Federation Queen Anne style was the term commonly applied to the design of houses in Australia from the late 1880s through to the early twentieth century. since English architects varied the style for  Australian conditions. e.g. much smaller designs, verandahs.

It was the dominant style in Victorian domestic architecture during the decades immediately before and after 1900 and was applied to both large and modest dwellings.


Queen Anne style was originally an English revival of both traditional rural design and elements from a range of periods, such as Elizabethan and Jacobean; this style was seen in the work of English architects such as Norman Shaw.

Above: Cragside is the 1869 prototype of Queen Anne design, by architect Richard Norman Shaw


Cragside is a Victorian country house in  NorthumberlandEngland

It was the home of William Armstrong, first Baron Armstrong, founder of the Armstrong Whitworth armaments firm. An industrial magnate, Armstrong also displayed his inventiveness in the domestic sphere, making Cragside the first house in the world to be lit using hydroelectric power.


Above: A Queen Anne style house in Frognal UK, built for Kate Greenaway 
by Richard Norman Shaw


This ‘Old English’ style became popular in the United States and influences of both English and American Queen Anne can be seen in a distinctly Federation Queen Anne style which developed in Australia.

Federation Queen Anne style

The Federation Queen Anne style is predominantly a domestic style; these houses were designed in

  • a picturesque manner with asymmetrical forms,

  • dominant and complex roofs with multiple gables,

  • conical towers,

  • dormer windows and tall chimneys.


Within the City of Stonnington a small number of Federation Queen Anne style houses are included in the Heritage Overlay on an individual basis. These are usually described as Queen Anne, rather than Federation Queen Anne, and include:

Amesbury, 78 Alt Street, Ashfield
House kh_03.jpg

Above:  Edzell, 76 St Georges Road, Toorak designed in 1891 by Reed Smart & Tappin

Queen Anne, or

Federation Queen Anne?

  • The earlier red-brick Queen Anne style was usually a two-storey residence, with a turret, and without extensive verandahs. 

  • Federation Queen Anne houses were often single storey, a complex roof and sprawled over large suburban sites. 


They share a basic set of materials:

  • usually red brick for walls,

  • timber for verandah posts and decoration,

  • half-timbering with roughcast in the gable ends, and

  • terracotta tiles, or less commonly slate tiles,

  • with decorative terracotta ridge capping and finials for the roof.


Other typical Federation Queen Anne characteristics include

  • a variety of bay windows,

  • multi-paned windows with decorative leadlight coloured glass and

  • diagonally projecting corners

  • with surrounding verandahs, particularly on corner sites.

Above: Art Nouveau styles in Federation Queen Anne houses in Malvern VIC

A number of leading Melbourne architects designed houses in the Federation Queen Anne style particularly in the 1890s and 1900s and it was commonly adopted in the City of Stonnington in developing suburbs, such as

  • Malvern and

  • Glen Iris,

and in wealthy, established areas, such as

  • Armadale and

  • Toorak.


Architects associated with this style include


Australian Federation Queen Anne Style

As described by Vincent Crow, Haberfield Historian ("National Trust Heritage Festival 2013: Haberfield Garden Suburb")

Federation Roofs

Gabled, high-pitched roof

  • made of slate or terracotta tiles.

  • surmounted by terracotta ridging with finials,

  • tall chimneys

Federation Walls

Bare, tuck-pointed bricks often of two tones

  • 'Face' red bricks across the facade

  • sometimes browner 'town' bricks on side walls

Federation Windows

Double hung, or casement;

  • formal rooms have leadlight glass windows

  • bay windows to the front;

  • fanlights and transom windows of coloured glass

Federation Doors

Doors have leadlight in upper part of door,

  • may have leadlight glass in surrounding door-set

Federation Verandah

Verandah across at least part of the facade (frontage)

  • Later homes often have a 'return' verandah;

  • Square or turned verandah posts with decorative timber work

  • Floor of patterned tiles

Federation Style In General
  • Usually asymmetrical design ('picturesque'),

  • Formal bedroom projects forward from house

  • The massing of the building (eg most features) toward
    the front of the house

  • Art Nouveau influence evident in the flowing, curved
    designs of leadlight, tiling, and timber fretwork

  • Nationalistic representations both within the interior
    and on the exterior of the house

Federation Style Outside
  • Steeply pitched roofs, with at least one gable end facing the street and often an octagonal turret

  • widespread ornamentation, including terracotta ridge cappings, finials, dragons and gargoyles (more so in Victoria);

  • fretted frieze panels and post brackets, squared verandah posts,

  • chimney cornices and terracotta pots

  • leadlight windows and fretwork featuring patterns ranging from geometric to extravagant art nouveau designs - www.buildingcommission.com.au

Federation style Inside
  • Ceilings often divided into panels ornamented with plaster straps and shallow patterns with (delicate) Art Nouveau motifs

  • frequent use of timber panelling on lower walls in front rooms

  • fire-places and ingle-nooks (seated fire surrounds).

  • Walls with picturerails and sometimes wall-paper, using Art Nouveau patterns

  • pressed metal or painted plaster - Source

Distinctive Federation Features:
  1. Front verandas with elaborate timber decoration

  2. Bay windows using quadruple casements,

  3. Tiling on the patio floor and entry paths

  4. Brickwork in a deep red or dark brown, often with a mix of the two

  5. Roofs of typically slate or terracotta tiles with decorative gables,

  6. Roofs have timber features, motifs, tall chimneys and fretwork

  7. 'Witches Hat' roofing (Turrets)

  8. Decorative leadlight windows

  9. Circular windows (known as bulls-eye windows)

Some prominent examples are:

25 Finch Street Malvern streetview