Walls and Fences


Most Victorian and Edwardian houses had a wall or fence adjacent to the road. There are three typical combinations:

Usual paint colours were dark reds, browns, ochres, greens, black, white, and cream.

Wooden Fence

A typical fence was close boarded with wooden posts, arris rails, overlapping boards and a capping. More modest houses had a picket fence with posts, arris rails and vertical pickets. A vernacular-style house, such as a Victorian cottage or an Edwardian Tudor-style building, would usually have a wooden fence. In all cases, posts were wooden.

The Edwardian period saw the use of trellis, both in the garden and as a fencing material.

  • Close boarded fence
    Close boarded fence
  • Picket fence
    Picket fence

Cast or Wrought Iron Fence

Cast iron was often used. The most simple designs were decorative stakes set in top and bottom rails. More elaborate fences are made from cast sections. Posts would be cast iron also, although a gate might be hung on brick or stone pillars. The Edwardian era saw a major revival of wrought iron. This was as common as cast iron.

Fences also often mixed cast and wrought iron.

Before 1850, classical motifs such as athemions and spear heads were common. Later more elaborate motifs such as flowers or fleur de lys were used.

Ironwork would often use the same colour as the paint used for woodwork, rather than just black.


Walls were made from brick or stone. This was capped with stone or shaped bricks. In some cases this would be topped with a cast or wrought iron railing.

Wall with cast iron railing

Wall with cast iron railing