A period property is a property that was built during a specific time period, characterised by a distinctive architectural style. There is no binding definition as to which time period a property should come from to fit this classification, but it usually refers to an era before World War I. Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian properties are often referred to as period properties as well.
Period properties are not the same as heritage properties or listed properties, which are graded according to their architectural and cultural significance and protected accordingly. However, many listed properties are also pre-WW1 period properties.
Types of Period Properties
Elizabethan (1558–1603): This ostentatious architectural style was all about show. Elizabethan architecture was highly decorative, mixing Renaissance motifs with Flemish decorative work. Mansions from this era typically featured beautiful brickwork and large panes of glass, numerous chimney-stacks, towers and gables, as well as gardens with pavilions and fountains.
Georgian (1714 – 1837): This long-lasting architectural era is known for the symmetry and balance of its buildings, which was based on classical Grecian and Roman architecture. Properties were designed using simple mathematical ratios which gave them their balanced proportions.
Victorian (1837 – 1901): Victorian architecture reinterpreted and revived an eclectic mix of older styles, from Gothic to Greco-Roman. Architects also began introducing influences from Asia and the Middle East. As the British Empire had become more established, many architects emigrated to the US, Canada and Australia, where they popularised this ornate blend of architectural trends.
Edwardian (late 1890s – 1910): Edwardian buildings were less ornate than their Victorian predecessors (with the exception of the Edwardian Baroque style). Overall the style was marked by simpler patterns and less clutter. It had a lighter and brighter look too; the arrival of gas and electricity meant soot build-up became a thing of the past, so architects began embracing lighter colours.
As time progresses, arguments are also being made for expanding the definition of period property to include later 20th-century architecture, such as Art Deco.
Renovating a Period Property
Period properties are beautiful and steeped in history, which makes them popular with buyers in search of something special. However, they can be tricky to renovate, refurbish or maintain. Restoration projects may require special care or specific techniques and finishes. And of course, your period property might also be a listed building, in which case there will be numerous legal restrictions on works carried out on that property.
Beautiful Properties from Prestigious Eras
Bidwells has a beautiful selection of period properties available to buyers, including Victorian townhouses, Edwardian homes and Georgian-style farmhouses. We also offer specialist consulting and renovations for those who own listed and historic properties.