Window Types

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright December 2009, Oast House Archive; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

SO4744 : Through the round window by Pauline E
A basic illustration of window types found within Great Britain.

Standard Types


A simple fixed window with no openings.
SE0023 : Dairy window, Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd by Humphrey Bolton NZ1716 : Gainford butchers' shop window by Stanley Howe

Side hung casement

SP2772 : Election poster, Purlieu Gate Cottage, Kenilworth by John Brightley
A hinged side opening.

Top hung casement

Also known as Awning. A hinged top opening.
SJ9494 : Bulls Eyes by Gerald England

Vertical Sliding Sash

Also known as Double hung window. The top and bottom slide up an down on integral strings or wires. Ideal for circulation of air. Popular on Georgian period buildings.
SO5924 : Window moulding by Pauline E TQ2881 : Smirking face above a window in Treborough House, Nottingham Place / Paddington Street, W1 by Mike Quinn

Horizontal Sliding Sash

Similar to the vertical sliding sash, each sash slides sideways between rails, rather than hung on strings or wires.
Though used on vernacular buildings for many centuries they are now most common place in high rise flats and at kiosks, where an outward opening casement would be unsuitable.

A variation called 'Yorkshire light', has one (or more) fixed sash and a horizontally moving sash. So called because it is common in the Yorkshire regions, though it can be found throughout the UK from the Victorian period.
SK6415 : 1, Hoby Road, Thrussington by Kate Jewell



TF4663 : All Saints, Irby in the Marsh by Dave Hitchborne

Roof light

TQ7932 : Oast House by Oast House Archive

Building Forms


A bay window projects past the main wall of the building, usually with three sides in a square or chamfered design.
SU1585 : 114 and 115 Rosebery Street, Swindon by Brian Robert Marshall


TL0507 : Old Town, Hemel Hempstead by Colin Smith


Similar to the bay and bow windows, oriel windows do not touch the ground.
J5082 : Oriel windows, Bangor by Rossographer

Roof lanterns

SU5886 : The roof lights by Bill Nicholls


A variation of lantern, usually with a dome-shaped roof.
SY3492 : Cupola atop Lyme Regis Museum by Simon Palmer

Feature windows

SO4744 : Through the round window by Pauline E TQ4156 : Quatrefoil window, St Mary's, Tatsfield by Ian Capper TM3698 : Window by Keith Evans SP2872 : Detail of United Reformed Church, Abbey Hill, Kenilworth by John Brightley

Circular window

J3474 : Modern window, Belfast by Albert Bridge
Also know as Oculus


Semi-circular or semi-elliptical window found above an entrance door. The term often extends to all shaped windows above a front door.
J3374 : Fanlight, Belfast by Albert Bridge J3372 : Fanlight, Belfast (2) by Albert Bridge J3372 : Fanlight, Belfast (3) by Albert Bridge TQ2782 : Two fanlights and doorways, Gloucester Place, Marylebone by Andy F


A smaller window above a door or window.
H4572 : Fanlight, 11 Mountjoy Road, Omagh by Kenneth  Allen

Dormer windows

TQ8209 : Flat Roof Dormer windows on George Street by Oast House Archive
see Roof Types

Blocked up windows

A window tax was introduced in Great Britain in during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many windows were bricked up to reduce taxes.
TQ8209 : Brick Detail on High Street by Oast House Archive

Some up bricked up for other reasons, such as a change of use or for decoration.
SE6232 : Bricked Up by Andy Beecroft

Some buildings have fake blocked-up windows as part of the design.

Painted windows

For those who can only dream of windows…
NS5566 : Merkland Street by Thomas Nugent ST7564 : A window on the world? by Neil Owen


Stained glass

TM0381 : St Andrew's church - lady chapel east window (detail) by Evelyn Simak TM1085 : St Mary's church - C20 memorial window (detail) by Evelyn Simak

Tinted glass

TQ3780 : Flying Through the Clouds by Ian Paterson

Blown glass

SJ9494 : Bulls Eyes by Gerald England

Leaded lights


NS5767 : Queens Cross Church by Thomas Nugent SO8698 : Chimney and window detail, Wightwick Manor by David Martin


SK3757 : View from The Three Horseshoes, Wessington by Stephen McKay SP9211 : The Counting House, Tring by Gerald Massey


TA0225 : Beacon Garth, Hessle - Detail - Mullion Window by David Wright TQ3080 : New East window of St Martin's in the Fields by David Hawgood

Curved & Arched Roofs

TQ3780 : Entrance to Underground Station by Oast House Archive TQ2681 : Paddington Station by Pam Brophy TQ2979 : Cardinal Place, Victoria by David Hawgood

Domed roof

TQ2380 : Main pedestrian entrance to Westfield by David Hawgood SK3722 : Inside the Orangery by David Lally

Glazed archway

TQ2679 : Prom interval  - audience outside  the Albert Hall by David Hawgood

Glazed walkway

TQ3081 : Royal Ballet School twisty bridge over Floral Street by David Hawgood

illustrations © Oast House Archive
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