A brief history of sash windows
The word “Sash” is from the French word “chassis”, meaning frame. The word may be French in origin, but sash windows are very British and were to become one of the most popular visual elements in buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries, spanning Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Sash windows are surely the quintessential style of window in the UK. Simple yet elegant, in our opinion, they remain both the most beautiful and efficient design ever created. Other styles of windows will almost certainly look out of place in Georgian, Regency or Victorian properties.
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.
During the 18th century the classic Georgian style of two rows of three panes in each sash evolved and the thickness of the glazing bars was reduced to give an elegance typical of the era. At this time, rather than being made from hollowed out solid members the pulley stiles and linings of frame were constructed as a box to contain the sash-weights and brass or cast iron axle-pulleys were introduced.
Beyond the cosmetic value, there is a historical value to the windows that is meant to be cherished over many generations. New owners of homes that come with original sash windows should exhaust all efforts to repair the original windows instead of replacing them with modern replicas. There are many benefits to that reasoning and on top of that the woodwork and the way they are installed can meet many specifications governing older listed or graded buildings and homes where modern windows are prohibited.