Victorian Conservatory Image

What is it?

A Victorian, Victorial, Victoriana, chamfered front, bell ended, faceted, or bay fronted are all common names for this style. The conservatory is the same basic design for all. It most commonly has three sections (known as facets) around the front giving a half hexagon shape when looking from above. Try to imagine half of a fifty pence piece. Sometimes, the Victorian will have five front sections (still referred to as facets) giving it a more rounded look.

Plan (Bird’s eye) view of a 3 sided Victorian:


As with most common conservatory designs the Victorian projects at right angles away from the property giving two straight sides which meet at the first corner point on each side, this is where the front facets then begin to take their shape. The roof is a normal pitched style (usually at around 25 degrees from the horizontal). This means that it slopes upwards from it’s sides meeting at a central ridge height. The roof around the front is also pitched, which is commonly known as a ‘Hipped front’, although most people will not refer to it this way as it is usually accepted that all the sides on a Victorian style are pitched.

The ridge is the apex part of the roof, much the same as a normal house roof. Look again at the bird’s eye views mentioned above, the central vertical line on this diagram is the Ridge.

The rafters around the front (roof bars) are often known as spider rafters (also referred to as Victorian hip rafters), meaning they splay out from the end of the Ridge to meet with their respective corner points, looking a little like… surprise, surprise, spiders legs splaying out away from it’s main body.

Advantages of the Victorian Style

  • The classic Victorian look can enhance the original features of a Victorian era property.
  • Gives a softer aesthetic look to a conservatory with the ‘hard’ edges softened by way of the rounded looking front.
  • Works well with smaller gardens as space may be an issue. Again, the rounded edges can offer a nicer access route around the sides if space is limited.
  • Helps to blend with boundary lines if they are not straight or at an angle to the property position.
  • Can have a double hipped roof if any height restrictions are at the property where the conservatory is to be sited.
  • Can project out into larger gardens (particularly if the garden is long and narrow) giving a greater conservatory space if desired.
  • Blends well in a corner position with no sharp corners imposing on the overall layout between property and garden area.

Disadvantages of the Victorian Style

  • Slightly reduced floor space inside the conservatory due to the cut-offs on the corners.
  • Generally has a maximum width available so do not normally lend themselves to applications where width is more desired over projection.

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