What Is A Tudor Style House?

These historic homes have enough storybook charm to transport you to a far, far away land.

Linda Vater English Garden with Tulips in Oklahoma
Photo: Alison Miksch

When you think of quintessential Southern architecture, various versions of Colonial-style homes likely come to mind—wooden, symmetrical, with shutters and big porches. While not quite as common, a well-known and distinguishable house style you'll still see in most major Southern cities is the Tudor style. Tudor-style architecture applies to both small and large homes—a smaller dwelling looks like a storybook cottage, while larger versions resemble an English manor house.

History of Tudor Houses

Although Tudors became popular in the United States in the 1910s and '20s, these brick- and stone-heavy homes pay homage to the actual Tudor era, circa 17th- and 18th-century England. This inspiration is reflected in the Medieval and Renaissance motifs, steeply pitched gable roofs and asymmetrical build. These expensive, eclectic homes were popular in affluent neighborhoods, earning the nickname "Stockbroker's Tudors" since the Depression secluded most people from affording the unique materials needed to construct a Tudor-style house.

WATCH: The Staircase Alone is Worth This Virginia Tudor's $2,980,000 Price Tag

Tudor House Characteristics

In general, Tudor homes share several common features. First, a steeply pitched roof with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables. Next, Tudor-style houses typically have a facade predominantly covered in brick but accented with half-timber framing (widely spaced wooden boards with stucco or stone in between). Also, every house includes multiple prominently placed brick or stone chimneys. The windows are taller than other houses, with rectangular or diamond-shaped panes representing the Medieval-style character. The front doors typically have an almost castle-like appearance as well. Since asymmetric design is popular with Tudors, they're usually off-center with a round arch at the top of the door or doorway, often built from stone that contrasts against the brick.

Tudor-style homes are very traditional, and because the architecture originated in colder climates, it's rare to find one with any front porch, which adds to the formal curb appeal. However, these charming homes look aptly situated among lush greenery and flowers (English gardens are famous for a reason!) that add a friendly feel to the exterior.

Living Room with Purple Armchairs
Laurey W. Glenn

Elements of Tudor Houses

The traditional style usually carries into the interiors as well. Extensive woodwork (including wall paneling and ceiling beams) was typical in the original Tudor homes built in the early 1900s. These were expensive homes to make, so you'll typically find them in areas considered affluent city suburbs at that time (which is now likely considered in-town).

For the most part, Tudors fell out of style after World War II when the country shifted toward affordable and mass-produced housing developments and haven't been a popular style for new construction since then. However, they still find favor with homeowners interested in a unique historic home.

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