British Folk Housing

By: Justin Chemplanikal and Bhargav Nallanthini

Analysis of Origin

There were many different styles of housing in the past, and some are still in use today.

It all began with the introduction of Roman Architecture, around 43 AD. Around that time, many people lived in the countryside, and lived in either villas or celtic homes. Celtic homes were round houses with thatched roofs made of straw or heather, with materials reflecting their environment. Villas were homes made of brick and stone with tiled roofs.

When the saxons became dominant after the romans left in 410 AD, the housing was made similar to celtic homes. However, wood was used for the walls, and the houses were now much larger and had windows. Viking housing, around 793 AD, was similar, but long, rectangular, almost entirely made of timber, and supported by beams.

During the tudor period from 1485 to 1603, houses were much more detailed, and in the countryside, they had wooden beams, steeply pitched roofs covered with clay or stone tiles, and casement windows. Most tudor homes were detached, meaning they were not connected to other houses.

Semi Detached homes, which were two houses joined together, were prevalent in the Georgian era, 1714 - 1830, which were more fire resistant due to being made of bricks and slate. Windows were a sign of wealth, since the tax was heavy due to war.

Bricks were more affordable in the victorian era, so most structures in that time were made of brick.

Modern Housing styles are either Tudor, Georgian or Victorian. Victorian housing is more frequent in cities, while tudor and georgian housing are dominant in the countryside and rural communities. Victorian housing spread so much that it changed from folk housing to pop housing.

Diffusion of British Folk Housing

Folk houses from England diffused to America when many people migrated from England to America. Saltbox houses in New England were similar to Tudor homes, which were the main type diffused from England. However, the housing style of American Georgian was inspired by Tudor housing, not british georgian housing. Victorian era housing also influenced the US Folk Victorian style. Within England, the housing styles were each originally from small rural or countryside societies, but diffused as people moved throughout England. Each housing style eventually became nationwide after a period of time, but were improved as they diffused, resulting in newer styles that were also diffused later on.

Types of British Folk Houses:


"Houses in England." Houses in England. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

"A History of British Homes - Sarah Beeny." BBC News. BBC, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.