Georgian windows, characterised by their classic, symmetrical design, are a hallmark of architectural elegance. Popular with homeowners wanting to adopt period styling, they can be surprisingly affordable, depending on several factors, including frame material and glass type. 

Owners of Georgian properties, however, are not limited to traditional window styles, with many contemporary designs complimenting period architecture. 

In this article, we explore Georgian windows’ unique features, history, and enduring appeal.

What do we mean by Georgian windows?

The Georgian era spanned 1714 to c. 1830–1837 and takes its name from the reigns of the Hanoverian monarchs George I, George II, George III, and George IV in British history. Homes constructed during this period have symmetrical designs, proportionate layouts, and classical elements, such as columns and pediments.

Georgian windows are characterised by their sash design, consisting of two movable panels that slide vertically within the frame. Casement windows, while less common during this period, were also used. However, the Window Tax (1696 – 1851) influenced Georgian architecture and window style. 

The Window Tax was levied on how many windows a property had, pushing homeowners to reduce their windows, thus lowering their tax liability. As a result, windows in upper stories and servants’ quarters were often smaller, irregularly spaced, or even entirely bricked up. 

Additionally, manufacturing large, strong panes of glass during this period was technically challenging, so using smaller panes with support bars was a practical solution to create larger, well-lit spaces while using available glass technology. 

Windows, therefore, became a sign of status, with affluent property owners displaying their wealth with multiple large-scale windows. 

Bath is known for its well-preserved Georgian architecture – the Royal Crescent and The Circus being iconic examples. London’s Downing Street also features classic Georgian-style townhouses. 

The ground floor of this Georgian house uses 6-over-6 style, but note how the first floor windows are reduced in size to a 3-over-6 design giving the illusion of larger windows using perspective. (Adobe)

What are Georgian window styles?

During the 18th century, the technology to produce large glass panes of high quality was not available, leading to constructing windows from smaller panes out of necessity rather than for aesthetic or stylistic reasons.

Originally, making window glass involved glass blowers blowing a large cylinder, which was then heated, sliced open, and flattened. However, as the size of the glass increased, it became more prone to imperfections.

To maintain a desirable appearance and flatness, window manufacturers opted for smaller glass panes held together by wooden strips known as glazing bars.

The bars were typically configured in patterns of six or eight panes in each window sash. Often called 6-over-6 or 8-over-8, the window as a whole comprised 12 or 16 panes of glass, respectively.

Contemporary Georgian windows still feature glazing bars (known as astragel bars) to achieve period styling; however, the bars sandwich either side of larger glass panes to create the effect of traditional bars that separated the individual panes.. This means the windows appear authentic from a distance but lose this authenticity when observed close up.


How to tell between Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian windows

Choosing new windows that respect the period’s architectural style ensures that renovations or updates enhance rather than detract from the home’s original character. For historic properties, this can be crucial in maintaining or improving value and adhering to local regulations or conservation guidelines where applicable. Matching the window style to the house’s period supports a cohesive aesthetic, ensuring that modern updates blend seamlessly with traditional designs.

Georgian houses (1714 – 1830)

Georgian architecture is characterised by symmetry and proportion, often inspired by classical Roman and Greek designs. Windows were typically sash with smaller panes held together by glazing bars, commonly seen in 6-over-6 or 8-over-8 configurations. Façades are often plain with minimal decoration.

Victorian houses (1837 – 1901)

Victorian architecture is more ornate, combining styles including Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne. Windows became larger with fewer glazing bars, often with a 2-over-2 or 1-over-1 pane configuration by the late Victorian era. Bay windows and stained glass were also common features.

Edwardian houses (1901 – 1910)

Edwardian architecture marks a return to simpler designs influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. Houses typically featured wider, airier frontages, with larger, simpler windows than Victorian properties, often using a 6-over-1 or single-pane sash design. Stained glass remained popular, particularly in the door and surrounding panels.

Should you repair or replace damaged Georgian window frames?

The decision to repair or replace damaged window frames should be made after considering the windows’ historical value, the damage’s extent, the potential for energy efficiency improvements, and cost implications. Repairing and restoring original windows is often favoured for historical conservation while replacing them might be more practical for improving insulation and long-term savings.

Here’s a concise overview of when to repair versus replace:

Repair and restore

  • Historical conservation: Repairing and restoring the original windows is often preferred, particularly if the property has historical significance or architectural merit. This approach conserves the property’s authentic appearance.
  • Condition: Wooden window frames generally in good condition, with damage confined to specific areas, such as rot in a corner or peeling paint, are usually good candidates for repair. Skilled craftspeople can often restore windows to their former glory, preserving the original materials.
  • Environmental consideration: Repairing and restoring windows can also be seen as a more environmentally friendly option, as it avoids the need for new materials and the waste associated with complete replacement.


  • Energy efficiency: Modern double glazed windows offer significantly better insulation than older ones, which can lead to substantial savings on energy bills and a more comfortable living environment. If the existing windows are single-glazed or poorly fitting, replacing them with double or triple glazed windows can improve thermal performance and reduce noise pollution.
  • Cost effectiveness: In some cases, the cost of repairing and restoring old window frames, especially if they are extensively damaged, can be higher than replacing them with new ones. Additionally, the long-term savings in energy costs can offset the initial investment in new windows.
  • Damage extent: If the window frames are extensively damaged, with issues like severe rot, warping, or structural weakness that compromise their function or safety, replacement may be the only viable option.

Window repairs or replacements in listed properties

If you own a listed property, the preferred approach is that the original windows are regularly maintained and repaired when necessary. They should only be replaced if they are totally beyond repair but you will need to apply for listed building consent through your Local Planning Authority.

However, most minor repairs can be completed without consent, including painting, draught-proofing, and sympathetic wood restoration. You may also be able to replace your Georgian windows if installing ‘like for like’, but it’s essential to check before undertaking any work.  

Georgian window frame material options

For Georgian window frames, if replacement is necessary due to removal or inappropriate replacements by previous owners, the preferred material option is timber with glazing bars. This choice aligns with the period’s authenticity and architectural integrity, reflecting the original construction methods and aesthetics. 

uPVC double glazing units with internal bars are generally considered less suitable for Georgian-style windows, as they lack authenticity. Furthermore, uPVC windows might not be permitted under planning regulations, especially in listed buildings or conservation areas, where maintaining historical accuracy is crucial.

Finding quotes for replica Georgian windows

Finding quotes for replica Georgian windows involves a few steps to ensure you get the best quality at a fair price. Here’s the best way to approach the process:

Research specialists and national suppliers

  • Specialists: For authentic replica Georgian windows, specialists focusing on historic or bespoke window manufacturing are often the best choice. They have the expertise to recreate the intricate details and traditional craftsmanship associated with Georgian windows. Look for companies with experience in heritage properties or those specialising in traditional joinery.
  • National suppliers: While national suppliers might offer more standardised options, some may also have bespoke or custom lines catering to historic replicas. They can be a good option for lower costs due to their scale of operation.

Ensure the companies have good reputations, check reviews, and view examples of their previous work on similar properties.

Gather multiple quotes

Contact several providers to get a range of quotes. Be specific about your materials and design requirements, such as energy efficient glass, to ensure the quotes are comparable.

Consider your budget 

  • Economies of scale: If you’re replacing multiple windows, you can often negotiate a better rate for a larger project.
  • Material choices: While timber with integral bars is preferred for authenticity, discuss with the supplier if there are variations in timber types or finishes that can affect the price without compromising on the look.
  • Simpler designs: Some Georgian designs are more intricate than others. Choosing a more straightforward design can reduce costs.

Frequently asked questions about Georgian windows