What is an Oriel Window?


We are all used to seeing the many styles, designs and colours of modern windows today, but I wonder how many styles there actually are or variations on a similar theme.

Recently, one window style that caught my eye, was an Oriel window. The window style dates back hundreds of years. The framework of the window, was either plain or highly decorated with colour or carved in wood, which was an indication as to the wealth and social standing of the property owner.

Houzz.com Oreal Bay

Image from Houzz.com of an Oriel Bay window

This style of window was generally located on the first floor of a property, and was designed to allow home owners and visitors the opportunity to see a view that would ordinarily not be able to be seen from a flat fronted property.  The window was designed and built with or without support from the ground, projecting out from the front of the property.  Sometimes at an angle it allowed people to see up and down a narrow street and take advantage of a coastal view of the sea.

 Oriel windows can be seen in many parts of the world  including Switzerland, Malta, Italy and in Victorian seaside towns in Great Britain to name just a few.


Oriel bay windows at the front of the house giving many views of the countryside.

In the olden days, this style of window was often seen in inns and guest houses and gave the owner the opportunity to charge more money for the rental of the bedrooms, if they had a view.  The increase in bedroom rent is still carried out today by hotels and guest houses, offering a sea view rather than an inland view.

Modern day Oriel bay windows have been introduced into ground floor rooms and still offer the same viewing advantage,  whether it is seeing more of the garden or enjoying a view from the home.

If you are thinking of fitting new windows that keep the heat in and the cold out, always investigate your options and ensure that the features that you would like are available in the style and design of the window you have chosen.

Anglian Home Improvement Bay window

An Anglian bay window

Windows and doors are considered a major investment for our homes, so making the right choice is important. If you are unsure what window style suites your home, take a look at the properties around you and see what styles and colours suit similar properties to yours. Or ask an expert for their advice, they will always be pleased to help you make the right choice.

Do you have a special window in your home that dates back from another age?  Whether it is an unusual shape or contains stained glass, we would love you to send a picture into us at [email protected]