Learn Why All Georgian/Victorian Homes In Old Chiswick Have Sash Windows
This article examines why all historic homes in the Chiswick area have sash windows. A large part of Chiswick falls within the London Borough of Hounslow’s designated conservation area. This is one of more than 8000 designated areas in England.
Chiswick is about 6 miles to the west of central London (Charing Cross), and it lies in a loop of the River Thames. It was originally a farming and fishing village, and its name in Old English (Ceswican) actually means Cheese Farm. A cheese market was held on the Dukes Meadow until about the 18th-century.
The population of the area grew many times over during the 19th-century, and a great number of the houses in the area are fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture. Chiswick House, which was designed and built by the 3rd Earl of Burlington, is one of the UK’s best extant examples of Palladian architecture. The building houses excellent collections of paintings and furniture. Much of historic Chiswick falls within conservation areas which are designated by Hounslow Borough.
Designation of a conservation area is usually the responsibility of the local authority, in this case the London Borough of Hounslow. English Heritage also has powers to designate within London, and the Secretary of State for National Heritage can designate in exceptional circumstances, which usually means where an area has more than local interest.
Conservation areas are chosen on the basis of special architectural and historical interest. Across the country many different types of area, usually urban, have been chosen. These include town centers, old farming and mining villages, country houses, and 18th and 19th-century suburbs. The Borough of Hounslow has designated more than 20 areas, and these include the village center of Old Chiswick, and Chiswick House and its surrounding area.
People who live in a conservation area, or who operate a business in that area, may often require permission before making any alterations to their property. This includes alterations such as fitting solar panels or satellite dishes, building extensions, cutting down trees etc.
There are no hard and fast rules concerning what is permitted. It is up to each local authority to define the types of development which are deemed appropriate or inappropriate for their own conservation area. In an area with many Georgian and Victorian homes such as Chiswick, the character of a street or terrace may be spoiled by a single house with out-of-character replacement windows, and the local authority may insist on sympathetic refurbishment of sash windows, rather than allowing replacement windows.
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