History of Window Shutters and Shutter Fittings
January 22, 2015
HISTORY OF WINDOW SHUTTERS AND SHUTTER FITTINGS
Window shutters have been a common and vital feature in our historic homes and properties. In medieval times many windows were unglazed, so wooden shutters were the best way to keep the elements at bay, wind and rain and unwelcome visitors both human and animal. External shutters were commonly found on ground floors of buildings to protect window glass e.g. public houses, which going back in time was extremely costly. In Britain most shutters were on the inside of buildings, unlike in Europe where shutters were normally on the outside and also served to keep houses cool. Shutters and their hinges were usually constructed in a similar way to the doors of the house and the styles developed together.
Early shutters were made of sturdy wooden boards, with hinged or sliding shutters first used in timber framed buildings. Hinged shutters could be opened upwards or sideways and were generally secured with wooden bars or iron fastenings. In Georgian properties shutters were a common feature. The main design was panelled leaves, and the number used would be determined by the size of the window, the outer leaves folded back to form the window surround and often these were housed in the wall reveals. Panels became finer and took on the panelled door designs of the time. Shutters were so popular in this period that specialist carpenters mass produced panels.
By Victorian times curtains had become the major window dressing fashion of the time. The use of shutters therefore started to decline in grander houses and estates but in small houses they remained popular into the early 1860’s.
Shutters were fixed with hinges and secured with additional shutter bars. These would have been made of wood or hand forged in iron by the local blacksmith. In the Georgian period when shutters became finer, so did the fittings and brass shutter bars and shutter latches were used. Just as the construction of shutters went with the door fashions of the times, so did the shutter furniture. We have brass shutter furniture in our range today, English made in solid brass. Items like this and of this quality are hard to find today. We make shutter bars to size to order and have an attractive shutter latch cast from an original design. If you need iron bars, then you will need to go to your local blacksmith, who may undertake special commissions.
If you have any queries please call 01746712450.
Pictures below show our brass shutter bars and brass shutter latch.