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British Architecture Has More than Gothic

UK Beauty

Britain was the first country to produce capitalism. Capitalism has promoted the rapid development of the British construction industry, which has transformed British architecture from the original dark and clumsy castle-type to new-style, large-scale, and high-level public buildings. On the basis of ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles, British classical architecture absorbed Italian Xiaxing architecture and French classical architectural styles.

Today I will take you to appreciate the British architectural style together!


It is generally believed that the history of British architecture began in 597 AD, the first Anglo-Saxon Christian church built during the period of Constantine the Great. In the long Middle Ages after that, Norman and Gothic architecture prevailed in the British Isles. From the 11th to the 12th century AD, the Normans who ruled Britain built a large number of Romanesque buildings here.

Romanesque architecture is known for its solid mass, heavy walls, semicircular arches, strong piers, vaulted domes, massive towers, and richly ornamented arches, giving it a majestic and stately appearance. Each building has a definite, clear form, and often has a regular, symmetrical plan, giving it a more austere appearance.

source: wikipedia

Tower of London

Windsor Castle


In fact, this kind of Gothic architectural style first originated in France, but it was from the Gothic period that British architecture became different from other parts of the European continent and gradually acquired its unique characteristics. English Gothic architecture is characterized by its extreme length, and its interiors seem to emphasize the horizontal even more than the vertical.


Compared with the Gothic churches in France, Germany, and Italy, each English cathedral has a very diverse form. It is common for each part of the building to be constructed in a different period and in a different style, with no attempt at unity in form. photo: York Minster


This Tudor style is believed to be very familiar to all people living in the UK, such as Shakespeare’s former residence and circular theater, or Liberty department store: long and narrow wooden grids under the spire surround dense windows, and the color is often simple white walls black tiles.

I think this kind of house is really British in the middle ages, but we often can’t name it. In fact, this style began to form during the Tudor Dynasty (1485 to 1603).

In this era, British culture gradually separated from the European continent and began to develop in a relatively isolated manner, and architectural styles were no exception. At the same time, Britain in the Tudor period began to become rich, and the life of citizens became more and more colorful, and drama became an important part of British life.


Therefore, we now see that many Tudor buildings belong to the former citizen class, such as taverns, theaters and dwellings, unlike medieval buildings, which mostly only have churches and castles.

In addition, some of the oldest universities in the UK also have large orthodox Tudor buildings, such as King’s College Chapel, the main building of King’s College, Cambridge University.


As the name implies, it is the architectural style during the reign of the Stuart royal family (1603 to 1714), which can be roughly subdivided into English Baroque, Jacobean, Queen Anne and so on.


At that time, the Renaissance made Baroque architecture popular in the European continent, and this trend also spread to the west of the English Channel, so the British architecture of the Stuart period showed a trend of mixing and matching, adding many decorative elements, such as the lintel on the door. Shell-like fluted decorations and more.


The only domed cathedral in Britain, St Paul’s Cathedral in London, is typical of this period.


From 1714 to 1830, the four British kings were named George, so this period is called the Georgian period, and new architectural forms were formed during this period.

The British architecture at this time showed a retro trend, largely paying tribute to ancient Roman architecture: regular, symmetrical and thick, often with classical porch on the front facade, and rectangular clusters arranged under the eaves, often with Tooth-shaped decoration, the exterior wall decoration is simple and atmospheric, and the appearance of the building is often boxy, or a row of houses is used to outline an arc, such as the “Royal Crescent” in Bath and so on.

In addition, many Georgian buildings left over from the colonial period can also be seen in famous schools with a long history in the United States, such as Harvard University and Yale University.


Britain reached its heyday during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.

Due to the industrial revolution, the economic level of the British people has been greatly improved at the same time, and their pursuit of exquisite housing is becoming more and more. People’s pursuit and the abundance of resource materials make the architectural style break through the boundaries of time and space at this time: on the one hand, from the past architecture Many old styles were revived; on the other hand, it borrowed architectural styles from other parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe and India.

Gothic architecture was revived on a large scale during this period. Many large buildings, such as churches and city halls, are well-known as the Palace of Westminster (Parliament Building) is a typical product of this revival movement. Soaring pinnacles began to cut the skyline of the British Isles again, and their elaborate cornices, roofs, steep roof gables and heavy iron decoration became their hallmarks.

At this time, the Victorian House also showed the meaning of Gothic revival: the pointed roof, the attic windows protruding from the walls of the house, the corridors and balconies surrounded by railings outside the house, the outer walls are covered with fish scale-like wood chips, and the decoration is also different. more refined.

Buildings in the Victorian period were mostly made of red bricks and yellow bricks, so several famous institutions of higher learning that emerged during this period were called “Red Brick University”. Among them, the Victoria Building at the University of Liverpool is often considered the most typical red brick building.

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