For our second entry on window types, we look at double sash windows, a traditional type of window

Double Sash Windows by Grigvovan

Timeless: double sash windows with wooden frames, seen in open and closed positions. Images by Grigvovan (via Shutterstock).

Throughout the United Kingdom, there is one window type that has been in use for the last 500 years. Double sash windows are seen in many properties built before the second half of the 20th century. They are a popular window style in Georgian and Victorian terraced houses and stately homes.

Where double sash windows differ from their single sash siblings, is the ability to open the top half and the bottom half of the windows. Traditionally, pulleys are used to keep the windows in place as well as aiding their movement. They would also be augmented with shutters. Braided cord or chains are used. Some can be fitted with simplex hinges, which enables windows to be locked with hinges on one side.

Typically, British double sash windows are four feet in width. The oldest surviving installation dates from the 1670s, seen at Ham House on the banks of the River Thames. The National Trust property in Ham, opposite Richmond-upon-Thames is claimed to be “unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th-century fashion and power.” As well as wooden window frames, double sash windows are available in PVC-U frames.

Double hung or double sash windows?

In Britain, double sash windows rather than double hung windows are the preferred term. Double hung windows are the preferred term in North America.

Vertical or horizontal sash windows?

You can have both varieties, horizontal as well as vertical. The horizontal equivalents are known as a Yorkshire Light. They are also known as Yorkshire Sash Windows, as they are traditionally used in the county. The same mechanisms which apply to vertical sash windows are applicable with Yorkshire Light Windows.

Of British or Dutch origin?

A controversial one. It is claimed that scientist Robert Hooke invented sash windows, though there is no conclusive evidence. One school of thought claims they made their way to Britain from France via the Netherlands.

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Chartwell Wooden Windows, 15 July 2016.

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