The size of a Victorian fireplace depended on the size of the room. Areas that received guests such as the front parlour would have had the grandest fireplace and mantel. Main bedrooms would have had a simpler design and smaller bedrooms and servant quarters would have had the most basic cast iron model. The Victorians preferred coal instead of wood. The coals were set into small tight baskets that angled the fire into the room. The grate style constantly changed in design to increase heat and reduce smoke. In the later part of the Victorian period grates had a hinged register that controlled the draw up the chimney and a hood to reduce the smoke entering the room.
Edwardian fireplaces were very similar to those in the Victorian times. Coal was still burnt but the Arts and Craft movement preferred the traditional fuel of wood in freestanding dog baskets and Inglenook fireplaces.
The designs from both Victorian and Edwardian period used cast iron grates with a marble or hardwood surround. Simpler fireplaces were completely cast iron. A cheaper alternative was to use softwoods and then paint or varnish them to make them look grander. A large mantel piece or shelves were added to display the newly acquired fashionable ornaments. The fireplaces reflected many styles from a Regency, often seen in early Victorian times to the floral Art Nouveau patterns on tiles and surrounds seen in later Victorian and Edwardian period
1. Marble 1873 2. Oak Arts & Craft 3. Oak 1890 4. Painted Victorian 5-6 Cast iron Arts Novueau 7-8 Single piece cast iron
1. Oak with cast iron insert 2. Painted with tiles insert 3. Oak Arts & Craft 4. Softwood(would of been painted) with cast iron insert 5.Cast iron 6. Arts & Craft brick fireplace
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