What Is a Tudor Style House?

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

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

When you think of quintessential Southern architecture, various versions of Colonial homes are likely what 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 can be applied to both small and large homes—in a smaller dwelling, it has the look of a storybook cottage, while larger versions have the appearance of a large English manor house.

That's because although they 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.

In general, Tudor homes share several common features: a steeply pitched roof with multiple overlapping, front-facing gables; a facade that's predominantly covered in brick but accented with half-timber framing (widely spaced wooden boards with stucco or stone in between); multiple prominently placed brick or stone chimneys; and tall windows with rectangular or diamond-shaped panes that really play up the Medieval-style character. The front doors typically have an almost castle-like appearance to them as well: They're usually off-center with a round arch at the top of the door or doorway, which tends to be built out of stone that contrasts against the brick.

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

Tudor style homes are very traditional, and because the architecture originated in colder climates, it's rare to find one with any sort of 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

The traditional style usually carries into the interiors as well. Lots of wood work (including wall paneling and ceiling beams) was common in the original Tudor homes built in the early 1900s. These were expensive homes to build, so you'll typically find them in areas that were 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 that time, but they still find favor with homeowners interested in a unique historic home.

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