Architectural styles – Tudor and English inspired

Architectural styles – Tudor and English inspired

This is the third installment in an episodic series

By John Newber | Special for express mail

As I write this, a light rain is falling outside and the variety of homes within my line of vision is astonishing. A one-story bungalow across Indian Hill Boulevard, being repaired and restored after damage from a January 2022 storm, is located directly across Seventh Street from a large, stately square dating back to 1895. My own home, a transitional Craftsman home dating from 1908 Queen Anne Victorian rooflines with Craftsman-style features, located across Seventh Street from a classic 1914 California Craftsman bungalow, both designed by the same architect, Arthur Acker, and explain how styles changed over the course of six Only years from the first design to the second.

The Claremont Tudor displays many of the hallmarks of character found in the Tudor mansion style: a front-facing gable, diamond-shaped windows, stucco with brick accents, steeply pitched roofs, and a recessed entrance with an arched opening. Photography: John Newber

Renaissance as a term in architecture is the use of styles that consciously refer to the style of a previous architectural era. Traversing the streets of Historic Claremont and Old Claremont is to experience a microcosm of America's housing development and see how the Renaissance helped shape the eclectic collection of homes built here.

Traveling the numbered streets of these neighborhoods from east to west shows the evolution of styles over the decades of Claremont's growth. I assume, in a very loose sense, that time travel is possible. One can experience the period of the 1890s through the 1960s and beyond in terms of housing development in the city.

The roof of this English-inspired cottage is rolled at the edges to mimic thatch. Photography: John Newber

In the last two episodes of this series, we took a look at one style of architecture, Mission and Spanish Revival, and another style of modern architecture, Craftsman. One of the most famous architectural revivals in America was the Tudor style, which was popular in the early 20th century.y last century and enjoyed its heyday in the 1920s. The style was particularly popular in Claremont, where there are many fine examples of the vernacular. It was inspired by the English Tudor style of the late Middle Ages, around the 1680s to the mid-17th century.

This style emerged in America's upper-class suburbs in the early 1900s, where they earned the nickname “Stockbroker Tudor.” While the English Tudor house featured thatched roofs, the American version used slate. The steep roof lines remained, as did the gabled windows, arched doorways, and diamond window panels. Painted exterior walls, the mixture of soil, clay, sand, animal dung, and straw found in English homes, gave way to plaster and brick in the United States. Because of new construction methods such as timber framing, heavy timbers were used during the English Tudor era. They were replaced with dark wood trim and faux half-timbers.

Tudor and English-inspired houses in Claremont range from simple cottages with a steeply pitched gable and stucco exterior, to more elaborate two-story examples with multiple gabled roof forms, projecting bays, and half-timbering. The houses are characterized by the attractive and charming medieval tradition of English architecture and give these dwellings an air of fantasy.

This house on 11th Street features a front-facing gable with excellent half-timbered details found in the Tudor style. Photography: John Newber

Distinctive features of character – Tudor style


  • Steep roof shapes
  • Multiple gables, cross gables, and cross gable forms
  • Typical asymmetric block, one or two stories, sometimes two-level
  • The vertical direction of building shapes and elements
  • Small covered and recessed arched balconies at the entrances
  • Porch or covered parking on the side, within the main building form and roof


  • Steeply pitched gable roofs
  • There are usually two prominent front-facing gables and other smaller gables
  • Small, sometimes flaming friezes
  • Wood, slate, or asphalt roofs are sometimes rolled at the edges to mimic thatch


  • The balconies in which they occur are usually small covered front entrances with a recessed recess entered through an arched opening.
  • Recessed entry doors within gable roof elements are usually steep and the openings are sometimes arched

Architectural details

  • Smooth plaster finish with half-timbering
  • Different materials at different levels of the building
  • Prominent chimneypieces, often massive with decorated chimney bowls
  • External brick cladding, unpainted, with decorative patterns, limited in area
  • Large sandal panels at gable roof ends, sometimes decorative
  • Decorative roof vents at gable ends
  • Stonework or 'clinker' brickwork in chimneys and on other feature walls

Windows and doors

  • Multiple pieces, true split small, and occasional leaded diamond pattern
  • Wooden or steel double-hung casement and windows
  • Tall windows, often grouped in groups, sometimes in a large bay
  • The doors are usually arched and usually of heavy wood panels with a clear finish

Future parts of this series will explore styles such as turn of the century, American Colonial, modern, and others.

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