The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period (1485–1603) and even beyond, for conservative college patrons. It followed the Perpendicular style and, although superseded by Elizabethan architecture in domestic building of any pretensions to fashion, the Tudor style still retained its hold on English taste, portions of the additions to the various colleges of Oxford University and Cambridge University being still carried out in the Tudor style which overlaps with the first stirrings of the Gothic Revival.
The four-centered arch, now known as the Tudor arch, was a defining feature; some of the most remarkable oriel windows belong to this period; the mouldings are more spread out and the foliage becomes more naturalistic. Nevertheless, "Tudor style" is an awkward style-designation, with its implied suggestions of continuity through the period of the Tudor dynasty and the misleading impression that there was a style break at the accession of Stuart James I in 1603.
There are also examples of Tudor architecture in Scotland, such as King's College, Aberdeen.
In church architecture the principal examples are:
- Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey (1503)
- King's College Chapel, Cambridge
- St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
During this period the arrival of the chimney stack, and enclosed hearths resulted in the decline of the great hall based around an open hearth which was typical of earlier medieval architecture. Instead, fireplaces could now be placed upstairs and it became possible to have a second story that ran the whole length of the house. Tudor chimney-pieces were made large and elaborate to draw attention to the owner's adoption of this new technology, and the jetty appeared, as a way to show off the modernity of having a complete, full-length upper floor.
The style of large houses moved away from the defensive architecture of earlier moated manor houses, and started to be built more for aesthetics. For example, quadrangular, 'H' or 'E' shaped plans became more common. It was also fashionable for these larger buildings to incorporate "devices", or riddles, designed into the building, which served to demonstrate the owner's wit and to delight visitors. Occasionally these were Catholic symbols, for example, subtle or not so subtle references to the trinity, seen in three sided, triangular, or 'Y' shaped plans, designs or motifs.
The houses and buildings of ordinary people were typically timber framed, the frame usually filled with wattle and daub but occasionally with brick. These houses were also slower to adopt latest trends and the great hall continued to prevail. The Dissolution of the Monasteries provided surplus land, resulting in a small building boom, as well as a source of stone.
- Tudor Barn Eltham, Greenwich
- Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
- Mill Street, Warwick
- Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire
- King's College, Aberdeen
- Layer Marney Tower, Essex
- East Barsham Manor, Norfolk
- Ford's Hospital, Coventry
- Richmond Palace Gatehouse, London (early Tudor)
- Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
- Castle Lodge, Ludlow, Shropshire
- Compton Wynyates
- Bishop Percy House, Bridgnorth, Shropshire
- Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire (retains many elements from Robert Dudley's design)
- Hampton Court Palace, London
- Montacute House (late Tudor)
- Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire (late Tudor)
- Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury
- Hunsdon House, Hertfordshire
- Sutton House, London Borough of Hackney
- Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire
- The Barbican, Devon, Plymouth
- Eltham Palace, Greenwich, London
Tudor style buildings have several features that separate it from Medieval and later 17th Century design:
Nobility, upper classes, and clerical
- Large chimneys, often topped with narrow decorative chimney pots in the homes of the upper middle class and higher
- Brick and stone masonry, sometimes with half timbers earlier in the period
- Wide, enormous stone fireplaces with very large hearths meant to accommodate larger scale entertaining; in aristocratic homes these often were customized with motifs from the family arms. Cooking fireplaces would be found in lower sections of a stately home and be large enough to fit a bed inside.
- Curvilinear gables, an influence taken from Dutch designs
- Long galleries to display portraiture
- Gold gilt inside and outside the home
- Geometric landscaping in the back of the home: large gardens and enclosed courtyards a feature of the very wealthy
- Recycling of older medieval stone. Signs of hand riven stone masonry from earlier than 1505 consistent with Henry VIII's policy of plundering building materials from Priories and Abbeys. Especially common in country estates.
- An "E" or "H" shaped floorplan
- Large displays of glass in very large windows several feet long: glass was expensive to make in this period and the richer one was, the more windows one could afford
- Tapestries serving a triple purpose of keeping out chill, decorating the interior, and showing off one's wealth
- Depressed arches in clerical and aristocratic design, especially in the early-middle portion of the period
- Classical accents such as round headed arches over doors and alcoves, prominent balustrades from time of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I
- Hammerbeam roofs still in use from medieval period under Henry VII and remained so until 1603 for great halls, but were more decorative: often had corbels the were carved into beasts or had geometric patterns
- Steeply pitched roof
- Prominent cross gables
- Cruck frame in use throughout period
- Tall, narrow doors and windows
- Extremely narrow to nonexistent space between buildings in towns
- Flagstone or dirt floors rather than all stone and wood
- Small diamond shaped window panes, typically with lead casings to hold them together
- Thatched or tiled roofs often made of slate or more rarely clay. (London would not ban thatched roofs within the city until the 1660s.)
- Hammerbeam roofs retained for sake of utility (remained common in barns)
- Half timbers make of oak with wattle and daub walls painted white
- Inglenook fireplaces: Open floor fireplaces were a feature during the time of Henry VII but had declined in use by the 1560s for all but the poor as the growing middle classes were becoming more able to build them into their homes. Fireplace would be approximately 138 cm in wide x 91 cm tall and at least 100 cm deep. The largest (in the kitchen) would have a hook nailed into the wall for hanging a cauldron upon for cooking rather than a tripod in an open plan.
- Oven not separated from apparatus used in fireplace, esp. after reign of Edward VI; middle class homes had no use for such enormous ovens nor money to build them.
- Outhouses in the back of the home, esp. away from the cities in market towns.
- More emphasis on wooden staircases in homes of the middle class and gentry.
- Jettied top floors (very common in market town high streets and larger cities like London)
- Dormer windows (late in the period)
- Brickwork found in homes of gentry, esp. Elizabethan. As with upper classes, conformed to a set size: 210-250 mm x100-120 mm x 40-50 mm. Bonded together by mortar with a high lime content.
- Simpler square or rectangular floorplans in market towns or cities
- Farmhouses retain a small fat H shape and traces of late medieval architecture (less expensive than rebuilding entirely)
- Little landscaping behind the home, but rather small herb gardens.
As a modern term
In the 19th century a free mix of these late Gothic elements and Elizabethan were combined for hotels and railway stations, as well as modern residential styles in what is usually referred to as Tudor (or sometimes Mock Tudor styles known as Jacobethan or a more rustic Tudor Revival architecture).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tudor style architecture.|
- Garner, Thomas and Arthur James Stratton, Domestic Architecture of England during the Tudor Period. London: B.T. Batsford, 1908-1911.
- Quiney, Anthony (1989). Period Houses, a guide to authentic architectural features. London: George Phillip. ISBN 0-540-01173-8.
- Picard, Liza (2003). Elizabeth's London. London: phoenix. ISBN 0-7538-1757-8.
- Pragnall, Hubert (1984). Styles of English Architecture. Frome: Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-3768-5.
- Airs, Malcolm (1982). Service, Alastair, ed. Tudor and Jacobean. The Buildings of Britain. London: Barrie and Jenkins. ISBN 0-09-147830-8.