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Tudor Revival 

Tudor Revival Architectural Style 

Other Descriptions: Elizabethan RevivalNeo-TudorTudoresqueMock TudorTudorbethanHalf-TimberedStockbroker's Tudor


Stockbroker Tudor

Above: Osbert Lancaster's satiric cartoon of 'Stockbroker Tudor' house style

  • The knighted 'style guru', architectural artist, Osbert Lancaster, called the mock Tudor craze, "Stockbroker Tudor":

    • "Stockbroker Tudor is 'a glorified version of Anne Hathaway's cottage with such modifications as were necessary to conform to transatlantic standards of plumbing"

  • Lancaster also said of Stockbrokers’ Tudor:

    • “All over the country the latest and most scientific methods of mass-production are being utilized to turn out a stream of old oak beams, leaded window-panes and small discs of bottled glass.” (Courtesy of the Lancaster family)

The Tudor Revival

Tudor Revival architecture (commonly called mock Tudor in the UK) first manifested itself in domestic architecture beginning in the United Kingdom in the mid to late 19th century.


The earliest examples of the style originate with the works of such eminent architects as Norman Shaw and George Devey, in what at the time was thought of as a neo-Tudor design.

  • Tudorbethan represents a subset of Tudor revival architecture; it applied the more domestic styles of "Merrie England", which were cosier and quaint and was associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. 












Above: Ascott House , Buckinghamshire. A "simple cottage" designed circa 1876 by George Devey. An early example of Tudorbethan

Tudor Revival
Stockbroker Tudor
The Tudor Revival

The Tudor Period

The Tudor historical period began in 1485, with Henry VIII's father (Henry VII), whose mother, Margaret Tudor, entrusted little Henry jr. to the care of his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford) and lasted until the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Tudor Queen in 1603.

Historic Tudor Housing Characteristics

Tudor homes are characterized by their

  • steeply pitched gable roofs,

  • playfully elaborate masonry chimneys (often with chimney pots),

  • embellished doorways,

  • close groupings of windows, and

  • decorative half-timbering, this last an exposed wood framework with the spaces between the timbers filled with masonry or stucco.


Above: Construction details of historic Tudor houses

Half-Timbered Oak Frames









  • Original Tudor homes were half timbered using the wood of oak, chestnut, elm or poplar trees.

  • Oak was popular because oak is hard and strong, and the spaces between were filled with small sticks (eg wickerwork) and wet clay (called "wattle and daub").





Above: Woven wattle infill

  • This infill was then painted in colour (for historic homes) or 'white-washed' (modern Tudor-style homes).

    • Historic Tudor period housing which used wattle and daub infill panels were painted red, yellow or pink.

  • These 500 year-old houses now have a very distinctive black-and-white style appearance, because oak frames can turn black with age...

  • Oak has a high natural tannic acid content which causes the timber to turn black when exposed to moisture containing trace amounts of iron. Otherwise oak will turn silver-grey like other timber exposed to the weather.

  • From the Victorian period onward the common black and white design was used with wood blackened and infill white-washed.

  • Fuming Timber to look like oak: Ammonia fuming is a wood finishing process that darkens wood and brings out the grain pattern.




Above: Penshurst Village Hall, UK, showing modern Tudor framework, and original chimneys.

Renovated to half-timber by the Rector's son Maxwell Maberlay Smith in 1898.


Infill material

  • Wattle and daub was the cheapest filling between the timber framing, but brick or stone could be used if available locally.

  • In higher class house-building, bricks would be used, laid in a diagonal herringbone pattern.

  • Older bricks were handmade, absorbed moisture and were a lot heavier, requiring a more solid timber frame.

  • If the bricks you see are evenly laid, and all of the same size, the brickwork is modern.


Above: Southampton's most important historic building: Tudor House (see also next view)

Front view of Tudor House. A timber-framed building facing St Michael’s Square, built in the late 15th Century

Jettied Floors

  • Jettying is a building technique used in medieval timber-frame buildings in which an upper floor projects beyond the dimensions of the floor below. This has the advantage of increasing the available space in the building without obstructing the street. Jettied floors are also termed jetties.

  • These jettied floors are a common feature of historic Tudor architecture.























Above: Tudor House, Southampton: Southampton's most important historic building


  • When in York UK, visiting the Shambles is a must.


Above: Views of  "The Shambles" in historic York, UK

  • 'The Shambles' is sometimes used as a general term for the maze of twisting, narrow lanes which make York so charming. At its heart is the lane actually called the Shambles, arguably the best preserved medieval street in the world.

  • The Shambles is an old street with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century.

  • Whilst they no doubt provided some shelter from the elements at ground level this wasn't their primary purpose.

  • The overhanging upper floors allowed for greater floor and living space without obstructing and intruding on the street below​


Tudor Windows

  • It was during the Tudor times that glass was first used in homes.


  • Glass was very expensive and it was difficult to make big pieces of glass, so the panes were tiny and held together with lead in a criss-cross pattern, or 'lattice'.

  • People who couldn't afford glass used polished horn, cloth or even paper.

  • When people moved house, they would take their windows with them. Glass was expensive during the late 15th century, and since only a few people could afford to buy it, they would take it with them when they moved.


The (New) Tudor Chimney(s)

In most medieval houses, there was only a central open hearth for the fire, with hoods or vents to let the smoke out above, but no chimney.

  • chimneys were not widely adopted until the Tudor times, and even then, only by the upper classes, with more common folk having to put up with smoke-filled rooms.

  • In the early 1500s newly built houses incorporated a hearth or fireplace with a (new) flue on the outside wall, and a chimney to carry away the smoke, placed on the outside of the house. These were the most solidly constructed part of the building, usually built of stone.

  • Even when chimneys were used, they were highly inefficient and often dangerous too, being susceptible to fire.

By 1710, all clay-built chimneys in England were ordered to be rebuilt in brick.



Above Left: External chimneys pictured: Tudor Merchant's House, Quay Hill, Tenby Wales; 
Above: Pembridge House dating from 16th century, Herefordshire England UK;

Above Right: Elizabethan Hollingbourne ManorKent, England.


Above: In the Sixteenth century, the external chimney moved into the house 

  • As brickwork became fashionable, in the later part of the sixteenth century, a row of brick chimneys served a multitude of new fireplaces, often placed centrally in the house.

So a later fine new house could afford a solid brick chimney, and the best new houses had a row of chimneys made of ornamental bricks.

Pictured Above L-R: 

Tudor cottage Welsh Row Nantwich Cheshire UK; 

Tudor Building, Dartmouth, Devon; 

Deanery Tower, Hadleigh UK;

Impressive Ornamental brick chimneys at Hampton Court, London.

Above Left: Genuine tudor brick infill.  Above Centre: Older brick infill: handmade bricks show pre-1880 brickwork

Above Right: Titchfield Market Hall showing brick infill patterns with white and black wooden framework

The Tudor Period
Historic Tudor Housing
Half-Timbered Oak Frames
Infill Material
Jettied Floors
Tudor Windows
Tudor Chimneys

Pictured: King Henry VII, King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth 1 

Pictured: Mill Street, WarwickAnne Hathaways CottageThe Shambles, York (Voted UK's Prettiest Street)

Above:  Doorway to Layer Marney Tower, showing the distinctive low Tudor arch

 Above Right: Tudor arch in the Trinity College of Cambridge

Norfolk Elizabethan Manor House
Burton Agnes Hall, near Beverley.  East Yorkshire
Hardwick Hall, "more glass than wall"
Longleat House Wiltshire UK

The Tudor Arch

A Tudor arch is a pointed archway with a greater span than rise. Basically, it's wide and short. The arch is a product of the English Gothic style of medieval architecture, popular under the Tudor Dynasty (1485-1603).

  • Pointed apex. While a traditional arch has a rounded or curved top, the Tudor arch culminates in a distinctive point.

  • A Tudor arch has a greater span than rise, which means it is wider than it is tall. This gives the Tudor are a very shallow, flattened feel.



Original Elizabethan Manors


Pictured above Left:  Norfolk Elizabethan Manor House (b. 1576) 

Above: Montacute House  completed 1601

Above Right: Elizabethan Manor House at Hollingbourne, built by 1590

The Elizabethan Age was one of the high points in English domestic architecture. After the intrigues and economic doldrums of the court of Henry VIII and the short reign of Mary Tudor - known as Bloody Mary for her penchant for creating Protestant martyrs - the reign of Elizabeth I was marked by stability, prosperity and growing confidence.

  • Under Elizabeth the county's economy began to revive. The new queen encouraged a return to farming, and the resulting recovery put a reasonable amount of wealth into the hands of a large number of people.

  • This new wealth expressed itself in two simultaneous building booms;

    • a great number of small houses were built, and

    • at the same time numerous country mansions were constructed.

    • Many of the earlier medieval or Tudor manors were remodelled and modernised during Elizabeth's reign.

  • Landowners, grown rich on the flourishing agriculture encouraged by the Queen, built magnificent houses to show off their wealth and power.

  • The best houses of the period incorporated plenty of glass (not a new technology but an expensive one), an extraordinary degree of ornamentation (something the English of the period were famous for), and more rooms for comfortable living - sitting rooms flooded with light, for example.


Hampton Court, Surrey



Above: Great gatehouse at Hampton Court, Surrey

Hampton Court is the country’s finest remaining Tudor palace (built 1515), and was one of Henry VIII’s favourites. He acquired it when Cardinal Thomas Wolsey fell from grace in 1529, and he spent £60,000 extending it over 10 years – roughly equivalent to £19 million today.

Sutton Place

Sutton Place, 3 miles north-east of Guildford in Surrey, is a Grade I listed Tudor manor house built c. 1525 by Sir Richard Weston (d. 1541), courtier of Henry VIII. It is of great importance to art history.

Left: Entrance to Sutton Place

Robert Smythson,

Master Mason to the Queen (Elizabeth 1) was a builder much sought after whose style defined the stately manors of the age.
These three Smythson houses, all open to the public, are among the best examples of his work:

Burton Agnes Hall

Burton Agnes Hall, near Beverley and the coast in East Yorkshire, is one the few houses for which Smythson's plans still exists, kept in the library of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA).

  • The house, which is privately owned but open to the public for about six months of the year, is notable for:

    1. extraordinarily elaborate carving and ornamentation, particularly in the Great Hall

    2. one of the earliest examples of a newel post supported staircase in England

    3. the Long Gallery - a type of room that made its first appearance in Elizabethan houses.

    4. Facilities for visitors include a lovely walled garden and a woodland garden with wildlife sculptures

Left: Burton Agnes Hall

Hardwick Hall


Below Left: Hardwick Hall ("More glass than wall")

Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall, is a saying that quickly grew up around the house Smythson built for serial widow and fabulously wealthy 16th century celebrity Bess of Hardwick.

  1. The house's massive windows, lit by candlelight from within, could be seen, like a lantern on a hill, for miles around.

  2. The windows were designed to bring light and views of the Derbyshire countryside into the house.

  3. Unlike earlier manor houses, which tended to turn their back on the countryside and open - if at all - into inner courtyard spaces,

  4. Elizabethan houses, for the first time, addressed nature and the outside world in a more direct way.

  5. Bess of Hardwick, a woman from a modest background who married up, outlived four husbands, accumulating fortunes, land, jewels and houses with each widowhood.

Longleat House


Left: Longleat House

Longleat House, one of Smythson's earliest projects and the first of the so-called "inside-out" houses, was completed around 1580.

Queen Elizabeth I was a guest there in 1574.

  1. Today the house, owned by the colourful 7th Marquess of Bath, is at the centre of a Wiltshire estate that's home to one of Britain's most famous family attractions - Longleat Safari Park.

  2. Longleat is known for its elaborate ceilings, most of which were added after the Elizabethan period, and for the murals painted by the current Lord Bath, which can be visited on a tour.

  3. The Great Hall remains the most authentically early part of the house with a typically ornate, deeply carved Elizabethan chimneypiece.

Montacute House, Somerset
Elizabethan Manor House at Hollingbourne
The Tudor Arch
Original Elizabethan Manors
Hampton Court, Surrey
Sutton Place
Burton Agnes Hall
Hardwick Hall
Longleat House

Roots of The Tudor Revival

James Malton: The most significant influence on the Tudor Revival was the work of James Malton, and publication of his book An Essay on British Cottage Architecture in 1798.

  1. These Malton cottages illustrate half-timbered houses without the black and white colour scheme we know now:
    Malton rebuilt cottages for simple country folk and as retreats for the wealthy. But, he made the new look old.
    Malton’s cottages featured uneven walls, non-matching colors and textures outside, and jutting gables with windows lacking symmetry. 

    Above: Cottage exteriors from "An Essay on British Cottage Architecture"

  2. Picturesque Movement: Architect John Nash designed a hamlet of cottages at Blaise, near Bristol in 1810. These houses had vernacular and Tudor elements, and were designed by the very same designer both of Regent Street and Buckingham Palace. These were the first of the 'Picturesque Movement'.


  3. Even philosopher John Ruskin in his youth (1837-8) asserted that the only style of villa architecture which can be called English is the Elizabethan style and its variations, illustrated here:


Fashion for "Tudorbethan" Manor Houses:

  • Tregothnan, Cornwall:

    • The original two-storeyed house was destroyed during the Civil War and was rebuilt several years later in 1652. In the 1820s, the architect William Wilkins enlarged the house in Tudorbethan style and it stands today much as it does in this drawing.



Tudor Revival Manor craze (1830s)










Pictured above: Harlaxton Manor, Lincs. (1831–7), Highclere Castle, Hamts. (1842–9), and Mentmore Towers, Bucks. (1851–4), are all good examples of the Elizabethan and Jacobethan Revival.

The great enthusiasm of the 1830s was not for cottages, but for the grander Tudorbethan mansions and manor houses. 
The earliest examples of the style originate with the works of such eminent architects as Norman Shaw and George Devey, in what at the time was thought of as a neo-Tudor design.
Cragside, designed by Norman Shaw in what he called a "Free Tudor" style (1869 to 1882).


Above: Cragside, Northumberland

Influential Writer Charles J.Richardson valued the picturesque and drew attention to the influence of the Tudor period

  • "(The Tudor Period) which could produce a Bacon and a Shakespeare was not likely to be contemptible in architecture..." ( in "The Englishman's house, from a cottage to a mansion.")
  • Superintendent P.F. Robinson wrote a popular guide to this architectural craze, Domestic Architecture in the Tudor Style (1837), which encouraged much building in the Tudor Revival style.

  • The Tudor Revival style made one of its first appearances in Britain at Cragside, a hilltop mansion of eclectic architectural styles that incorporated certain Tudor features; Cragside was designed by the architect Norman Shaw. The architectural historian J. Mordaunt Crook considers Cragside to be truly "avant-garde or trend-setting".




Above: Leyswood near Withyham designed by the architect Norman Shaw

However at approximately the same time, Shaw also designed Leyswood near Withyham in Sussex, which was a large mansion around a courtyard, complete with mock battlements, towers, half-timbered upper facades and tall chimneys – all features quite readily associated with Tudor architecture; in Shaw's hands, this less fantastical style achieved immediate maturity as the Queen Anne style.

Half-timbering Revival (1880s)

Left: Built circa 1870 two semi-detached cottages at Mentmore masquerade as one Tudor-style house.

From the 1880s onwards, Tudor Revival concentrated more on the simple but quaintly picturesque Elizabethan cottage, rather than the brick and battlemented splendours of Hampton Court or Compton Wynyates.

  • Large and small houses alike with half-timbering in their upper storeys and gables were completed with tall ornamental chimneys, in what was originally a simple cottage style.

  • It was here that the influences of the arts and crafts movement became apparent.


Left: Eureka Inn, California -Stucco and half-timbering on facade of the 1922 Eureka Inn in Eureka, California

However, Tudor Revival cannot really be likened to the timber-framed structures of the originals, in which the frame supported the whole weight of the house.

Their modern counterparts consist of bricks or blocks of various materials, stucco, or even simple studwall framing, with a lookalike "frame" of thin boards added on the outside to mimic the earlier functional and structural weight-bearing heavy timbers.

An example of this is the "simple cottage" style of Ascott House in Buckinghamshire (Illustrated above).
This was designed by Devey for the Rothschild family, who were among the earliest patrons and promoters of this style. Leading to "Stockbroker Tudor" style?

  • The Tudor Revival, though, now concentrated on the picturesque.

cottages at Blaise, near Bristol
Roots of The Tudor Revival
Fashion for "Tudorbethan"
Tregothnan, Cornwall
Tudor Revival Manor craze
Half-timbering Revival
Tudor Revival Interiors

Tudor Revival Interiors

From Old House Online January 2018 (USA)
"House exteriors ran from somber to whimsical—but the interiors were thoroughly modern for the times.

  • A less formal living room had replaced the parlor.

  • The kitchen had electric appliances and an eating nook; the first floor boasted a powder room.

Tudor sentiment might show up only in windows, a Tudor-arch fireplace mantel, or a “medieval” staircase newel."

"The early wave of English Revival houses was upscale, often featuring two-storey Great Halls with baronial fireplaces and expensive paneled walls.

  • Rich suburban examples might have a high-ceilinged (or step-down) great room, perhaps with a timbered ceiling.

  • Many spec-built models ca. 1925–1945, however, had generic interiors much like those in late bungalows, Dutch Colonials, and Spanish Revival houses.

  • Arched door openings, French doors, and coved ceilings were popular in all of these.

  • Ceiling beams, window and door casings, wainscots, and staircases tended to be dark and heavy, made of stained oak or chestnut dully finished with wax.

  • Celebrate architectural features such as exposed ceiling beams, Tudor-arch doorways, board-and-batten wall paneling, and stone fireplaces with elaborate mantels."


Choose a warm color scheme (e.g. crimson, yellow, and orange), with brown as the base neutral. Add touches of blue and green for contrast.
As in Arts & Crafts dining rooms, wainscots were taller than those in Colonial Revival houses. Damask wall coverings were appropriate over wainscots.

  • Mock age was suggested by rough troweled plaster or a textured wall finish, often painted an ivory color.

  • Flooring was often wide oak boards, though slate and dark tile were used in halls and kitchens. Axminster or Persian rugs partly covered floors.

  • Heavy iron hardware complemented heavy metal lighting fixtures.

  • Tapestries, antlers, and taxidermy hung on walls. Motifs included shields and other heraldic imagery, quatrefoils, and oak leaves and acorns."

Elegant Entryways

Some Tudor features are decorative and some are meant to provide protection from the elements.

  • Tudor entryways do both by recessing the door from a thick masonry wall or adding a small roof over the door.

  • Elegant Renaissance-style embellishments may include an arched or peaked board-and-batten door with a single small window, hefty metal door hardware, and quoinlike cut-stone blocks set into the surrounding wall.

  • These embellishments make the doorway a focal point and enhance curb appeal.|


Wood Panelling & Linenfold

Wood panelling or wainscoting, almost always made from oak, became popular in Northern Europe from the 14th century, after European carpenters rediscovered the techniques to create frame and panel joinery. - Wikipedia


Above Left: Linenfold panelling   Above Right:  Banister and wainscotting (at the rear wall)


  • Linenfold (or linen fold) is a simple style of relief carving used to decorate wood panelling with a design "imitating window tracery","imitating folded linen" or "stiffly imitating folded material". Originally from Flanders, the style became widespread across Northern Europe in the 14th to 16th centuries.​





Above: English oak chest with complex linenfold panels

  • The simplest linenfold style is "parchemin" (also known as "parchment fold"), a low reliefcarving formed like a sheet of paper or piece of linen folded in half and then spread out with the sharp centered fold running vertically, and the top and bottom running out to the corners of the panel, with something of the appearance of an opened book.

  • More complicated styles resemble a sheet of fabric that has volute folds back and forth many times. Linenfold might be fielded, visually complete against a flat panel surface and contained within each panel, or it might provide the appearance of a continuous linenfold passing behind the stiles of the framing.

  • Linenfold started to fall out of fashion as Renaissance styles spread in the 16th century, replaced by fielded panels for simpler work, and more complicated "Roman" and higher relief carving, but linenfold continued to be used in less sophisticated surroundings well into the 17th century. In the 19th century, linenfold panelling reappeared in the revivals of the Gothic and Tudor styles.

Elegant Entryways
Wood Panelling
Tudor Revival in Australia

Tudor Revival in Australia (1915-1940)

In Australia, the English cottage style tended to have a (much) steeper roof pitch than the Aussie bungalow and seldom were rafter ends exposed (as compared to the Federation style).

  • Beams exposed on the interior were common, but not on the exterior until after the 1920s.

  • The cottage was seen as 'masses' bunched together, rather tightly (as in the picture below)


Above: 16 Grandview Grove Toorak Gardens SA with an external tudor style chimney

The most obvious examples of Tudor Revivalist buildings in Australia have

  • steeply pitched roofs and

  • distinctive white plastering with black-painted timber,
    but other features to look out for include

  • overhanging second storeys or

  • oriel (a type of bay) windows (as in picture above, left, with turret);

  • the use of decorative clinker brickwork in herringbone or chequered designs;

  • multiple narrow windows,

  • diamond-pane glass and

  • dormer windows in the roof; and

  • more rarely, “catslide” roofs (which end near the ground level)

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