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The Assorted Travels of the Sash Window

Great Britain’s famous sash window has enjoyed a revival of popularity in recent years, but, since its inception during the 17th Century, has also become popular in other countries around the world.

While some historians believe that the sash window was a Dutch invention from the 17th Century, others attribute it to the architect and natural philosopher Robert Hooke from around the same time.

Commonly thought to be an imported design, they were in fact, and always have been, exported, and there still can be found in many of Britain’s former colonies, such as India and the Caribbean, the sash window’s unique design.

The different varieties of sash window have allowed the style to become a most dynamic and versatile window design, capable of suiting the needs of many different buildings. As an example of the sash’s globe-spanning versatility, the sash has made its way over to the sunny streets of Portugal, and even as far as the Americas, as a variety of the sash style, the single-hung window with two sashes, is very common in New England churches. The typical ‘Yorkshire sash’, as it is most often referred to, is, of course, a horizontally sliding window, though normally either of the sashes will be fixed.


The design itself originates from a time of narrow streets where large windows that jutted out were not suitable and would have ended up blocking the way. This antique though superbly ergonomic design, considering the time it comes from, evolved naturally with the towns and cities of England. On a deeper level, it can also be said to represent the changing culture of the Enlightenment, with its horizontal sliding sash moving upward alongside European culture itself, exploring different dimensions of everyday life that were previously unheard of and unknown.

Great Britain, however, has the pleasure of being the originator of the sash and it is there that the style has always been most popular. Iconic buildings across England, such as Ham House, Hampton Court Palace, and Kensington Palace have all adopted the sash window in the past, made fashionable by famed architect Christopher Wren. The sash can also be found at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and more recent, though equally famous, buildings as well, such as 10 Downing Street.

The sash has had the unique opportunity of traversing the globe unlike so many other window styles, going in and out of fashion over the years, but finally returning to the fore in the present day, as more and more conservation-minded individuals seek to restore the original sash fixtures that once adorned their homes. As such, there is no one who understands the importance of conserving this versatile and global, though uniquely British, design more than The Original Box Sash Windows Company. Established in 1979, situated in Windsor, Berkshire, they are known for building and installing only the very best quality timber box sash windows, also specializing in doors. Their website can be found at www.boxsash.com and they offer an array of products and services to suit your needs.