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Oriel Windows Have Early Gothic Roots

Windows can serve many practical purposes: bringing in light, controlling ventilation, and assisting with temperature control. The other important aspect of windows is the design and character they can bring to a building.

Oriel Window Background

Take the oriel window, for example. The origins of the unique oriel window can be traced all the way back to 1327, when it graced the front of Oriel College in Oxford. The college, which was obviously named after the window, was known for its unusual architectural feature. The shape of the oriel bay allowed students to bask in its comfort while observing the world outside.

Distinct Appearance

The oriel window has gothic roots and has been a distinct way to bring style to a building since the early 14th century. From the bay family, the oriel projects from the side of a building in the shape of a half-prism. Normally, it consists of three panes, with the top and bottom meeting in a peak.

Purchasing Your Own Oriels

Oriel windows have been a design favorite for hundreds of years. What better way to add something so unusual than through a unique window? You can work one into any area of your home, but they will definitely be most appreciated in a prominent location. Include a window seat to maximize the effect. Most window manufacturers offer the option of purchasing an oriel window. Even if not readily available, they have the ability to be custom built. In most cases, such a window must be custom-built because of its unusual dimensions.

As with most custom windows, installing an oriel window requires a fair amount of skill. Be sure your contractor has experience in this area to ensure a quality installation. Request free estimates from prescreened window contractors in your area today.

Dating all the way back to the 14th century, oriel windows are a form of bay window that bring a touch of character—not to mention added floor space—to any room. While they usually have to be custom-made, the light quality and architectural interest they bring might just make oriel windows worth the extra cost. Here are a few facts to get you started.

Costs

Because they’re a specialty window, manufacturers typically produce oriel windows based on your project’s specifications. The total price depends on which brand you choose, the size of your new windows, quality of glass/frame construction and cost of labor. For specific estimates, it’s best to ask a local contractor about oriel window installation in your area.

Pros

Popular in Gothic revival architecture, Victorians and Queen Anne-style homes, oriels are distinct, historically accurate windows.

Oriel windows jut outward without reaching the ground; thus, they actually increase the size of the room.

The total area of light exposure is larger than a traditional window, so they bring significantly more light in.

Cons

Not as common as other windows and usually must be custom-built.

Oriels are significantly more expensive than other windows.

Maintenance

The maintenance required for an oriel window is minimal and consists mostly of routine cleaning and ensuring that all mechanical parts are working correctly. Here’s how to keep yours clean and beautiful:

  1. Wipe windows down with a clean, damp sponge.
  2. Use a diluted mixture of detergent and warm water, and apply with a squeegee.
  3. Dry any excess water with a clean, dry cloth.

Common Questions and Answers

What is an oriel window?

With roots in the bay window family, the oriel projects from the side of a building in the shape of a half-prism. Normally, it consists of three panes, with the top and bottom meeting in a pe

History

The origins of the unique oriel window can be traced all the way back to 1327, when it graced the front of Oriel College in Oxford. The college, which was named after the window, was known for its unusual architectural features. The shape of the oriel bay allowed students to bask in its comfort while observing the world outside.

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