A History of Wooden Bay Windows

A History of Wooden Bay Windows


At Rural Timber Window Company, we handcraft bespoke timber framed windows to suit all styles of property. From traditional designs, through to simplistic and modern windows, we will work to your specification. For all window projects, we believe in traditional timber joinery, combined with modern technology to provide a beautiful solution that will last for many years.

As we regularly work on projects for traditional and heritage properties, it’s important that we do our historical research. In this blog, we will look at the history of wooden bay windows.

The origins of bay windows

A bay window is a window that projects out from the main walls of a building, forming a recess compartment, known as a bay. The word ‘bay’ itself comes from the French word ‘baee’, meaning opening. Wooden timber windows are formed by three or more windows that protrude beyond the exterior wall, creating a compartment.

The origins of bay windows date back to the English Renaissance period, stretching between the late 15th and early 17th centuries. In this time, bay windows were typically found in grand houses and mansions, often at the end of great halls where Lords would receive guests. During the Renaissance period, bay windows often extended from the exterior wall without touching the ground.

During the Gothic era, bays were frequently found in chapels and churches to allow for people to take private worship. By the Victorian era, it was a common feature for homes built at the time to feature bay windows on both lower and higher storeys. Bays have continued to be a popular architectural feature ever since.

Bay or Bow?

Whereas bay windows will usually form an angular square or rectangular, or half-hexagonal or octagonal compartment, bow windows differ in shape, providing a curved, rounded compartment. Bow windows will also usually feature more windows than traditional bay windows; as many as six windows may be used. Given the curved shape and larger number of windows used to form bow windows, they are generally wider than bay windows and do not protrude as far.

The benefits of bespoke bay windows

Bay windows provide a stylish focal point for any home and help let plenty of light into a room. In terms of interior benefits, bay windows help increase the floor space in a room, providing further storage space, or even room for a seat to sit on and enjoy the outdoors.

At Rural Timber Window Company, our experienced joiners manufacture timber bay windows using only sustainable wood products, combined with a selection of double glazing or safety glass options for insulation, safety and security. We also have considerable experience with heritage buildings, so you can rest assured that we will provide bespoke timber windows to that are sympathetic to the heritage and architecture of your property.

For a quote on wooden bay windows for your property, please contact us online.