History of sash window

You may have a sash window, you may repair them, you may even just admire them – but what do you actually know about how they came to be? We’ve got some interesting facts on the history of these beautiful windows and we think some of them will surprise you!

  1. Sash windows were initially introduced in the 17th Century when they started to grow in popularity, overtaking the casement window which up until that point had been the more common type of window.
  2. One of the earliest examples of the sash window involved the top sash being fixed and the bottom sash sliding into a groove that was then held in place with metal pegs. It was only later in the 17th century that the version of a sash window we’re more familiar with – top and bottom sliding – was introduced.
  3. Around the same time a horizontally sliding version of the typical sash window was also introduced, although this is less commonly used nowadays – it’s known as the Yorkshire sash.
  4. At the time, glass was more expensive than gold in some cases – over the years, the size pane of glass used in sash windows has increased and that’s part of the reason the price of these windows came down. In modern sash, it’s more common to have one pane of glass and stick on Georgian bars, which create the same effect as the traditional sash window.
  5. Originally, sash windows were placed flush to the external face of the wall, but after the Great Fire of London, this was considered a fire hazard. It was later decreed by the London Building act that recessed sash boxes, and later check reveals, were a legal requirement.
  6. During the 18th century, sash windows became more common place in every day homes as they became cheaper to have fitted.  It was during this time that the size of the windows grew too as the trend for balconies became more popular. Six over six windows also became more common during this period.
  7. What were once common problems with sash windows, including rot, swelling and rattling, have now been overcome in most cases due to wood with better technology such as Accoya® and highly skilled joiners who have a better understanding of the process. Security for sash windows is also much better than ever now, which provides peace of mind both for child safety and also for threat of burglary. All this has meant that it’s now possible to have beautiful sash windows without the worries of previous centuries!

We hope you’ve learnt something about where sash windows began – we are specialists in these beautiful windows with years of experience and can guide you on the best products needed for restoration, get in touch with us today!