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The term “sash” refers to the moveable part of a window. Sash windows originated in 17th-century England, and they’re still in use today. The oldest surviving example of a sash window dates from 1670, but the design didn’t become common until the late 1700s. In this article, we’ll explore what makes these windows so lovely, how they were first used in English homes, and how sash windows developed over time from simple sliding panels into something more sophisticated and more widely used.
To understand what a sash window is, you first need to know that “sash” is simply the term used for the moveable part of a window. Sash windows are also known as double-hung windows because they have two hinged panels that slide up and down in grooves. The upper panel opens by lifting it toward the top of its frame while the lower panel opens by lifting it toward the bottom of its frame.
This type of window was originally designed in Germany during medieval times, but it didn’t reach Britain until after World War II, although it wasn’t overly popular at this time.
The sash windows that originated in England in the 17th century and were originally made of wood. The earliest sashes were made from beechwood because it was strong enough for heavy glass panes and had natural resistance against decay from moisture or insects.
However, as people became more concerned about safety around their homes during that time period (and later), they began using other types of wood such as oak instead, since it had higher durability when exposed over time, compared with beechwood’s natural tendency towards rot due to fungus growth between joints. Oak was also favoured as it didn’t warp like other woods.
Palace House in Newmarket, Suffolk is home to the oldest surviving counterbalanced sash window in England, estimated to have been originally installed in 1671. The vertical sliding sash window was bricked up and only rediscovered in 1996 after a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from English Heritage enabled the restoration of the building.
Sash windows are a beautiful addition to most homes, but they do require a certain amount of maintenance. Our team have been repairing, restoring and replacing sash windows for a number of years. If your sash windows are in need of some TLC, just get in touch and we will be glad to offer you a survey.