In my last post I talked about double-hung sash windows being the predominant window style in Georgian homes and what exactly a double-hung sash window is. In this post, I’ll go into further detail about the ornamentation found above those windows.
Wood Georgians often featured decorative pediments above the windows.
A pediment is an architectural element found in a variety of styles, but usually features a triangular shape placed above a horizontal structure, such as a window.
While pediments in some architecture feature such practical uses as creating a gabled awning above an entranceway or over a window, in Georgian architecture pediments were simply a stylistic choice, which is why they’re referred to as decorative.
The open or broken pediment is commonly seen in wood Georgian homes. Open along the base, one common variant is the “Swan-necked” pediment, where the cornice creating that triangle shape is in the form of two S-shaped brackets.
Brick Georgians, however, included brick headers over the windows, rather than decorative pediments. Also a decorative element, a brick header continued the brickwork, but used a decorative bond in which either different bricks, bricks of a different colour, or different angles of the same brick as the rest of the home were used to create a focal point above the windows.
Ultimately, both forms of decoration above the window were designed to draw the eye to and complement the beauty of the architecture.