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Published on January 19, 2015 2:48 PM

As a first blog piece on our new website we thought we would give you some history on sash windows and how they became a popular feature in British homes.

Sash windows are a very British thing but the origin of the word “Sash” is French, it comes from “Chassis” which is French for the word frame. They first graced the windows of homes around the 17th century, at Chatsworth, Ham House, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace. This aided in the popularisation of them, and their image of grandeur, it has become synonymous with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes.

The Windows of the Kensington Palace

The Royal Seal of approval gave sash windows the status symbol they needed to become highly fashionable and a status symbol of the times.

Kensington Palace began life as Nottingham House in 1619,  its original owner was the 1st Earl of Nottingham. In 1689  the house was purchased by William and Mary the joint monarchs at the time, they spent £20,000 in that times money getting sash windows instated this gave Sash windows the first regency seal of approval.

uPVC sash windows quickly replaced casement windows as the popular choice for the fashionable house. Casement windows relied on wrought-iron casing at the time with lead that was used to hold the windows in place. This created a dark and heavy look which in comparison to sash windows was undesirable.

In recent years, uPVC sash windows have become available, aiming to replicate the aesthetic qualities of traditional wooden sash windows, while overcoming many of the shortcomings – especially regular maintenance and painting, and energy inefficiency.

A significant advantage of sash windows is that they provide efficient cooling of interiors during warm weather. Opening both the top and bottom of a sash window by equal amounts allows warm air at the top of the room to escape, thus drawing relatively cool air from outside into the room through the bottom opening. For more information and advice on sash windows please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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