Some would say that the sash window dates back as far as the 13th century. But it is generally believed that the sash window came in to existence in the late middle ages when the great defensive towers and castles slowly gave way to a more settled society that allowed the building of the great houses.
Glass was only made in small pieces up to the 1800’s. The technology did not allow for the making of larger sheets of glass. For this reason the Georgian sash window was made using many small panes rather than the bigger panes like was seen in the later Victorian times and present day.
Companies like Pilkington Glass in St Helens brought about the change to the production of float glass where large sheets of glass could be made using more modern methods of glass production as seen today.
In many of the old period houses the windows were made by setting up a workshop within the house itself. In some cases evidence can be found of the tradesman leaving his mark or initials in the sash frame.
Window sashes and sash frames need constant up keeping over the years. Like most things in this world they have a time when they will become not suitable for use unless maintained. This is where with the right knowledge and the right tradesman the sash windows can be retained and saved correctly.
Sash frame repairs are carried out by carefully removing the areas of rot in the frame and carefully splicing new sections of timber frame stiles or cill in to the sash window frame.
Sash repairs can be done in much the same way. In fact the sashes can be taken away if they are very bad for full sash restoration. This results in the glass being removed, paint removed and sashes repaired, sanded and primed before being re-glazed again using the original glass from the sash. Sash windows can be very discreetly draught proofed making it more energy efficient.
Sash window restoration, sash window repair and sash window manufacturing are more widely carried out now than in recent decades. In the 1970’s the preservation of historic streets was not given enough thought and many areas of Georgian era towns and cities were knocked to make way for more modern buildings.
A prime example of this would be the quays in Dublin. In Fitzwilliam Street Dublin a modern office block was built where a terrace of Georgian houses once stood. The new building kept a window line that tried to follow that of the Georgian windows which still survive in the houses at each end. A great view of this can be seen on the Google Earth street scape view of Fitzwilliam Street near Merrion Square