One of the wonderful benefits of living in Britain is that we can live surrounded by history. There are so many places up and down the country with a wealth of history and culture to experience, and this is no different in rental properties. Period properties are highly sought-after among home buyers and renters alike, and here in Chichester and throughout West Sussex we have such a rich history dating back to the Roman era. 

As independent estate agents in the heart of Chichester, we often have period properties available for you to rent, so we have put together this guide on renting a period property and what you should know. 

What is considered a period property? 

A ‘period’ home refers to a property that was built before the First World War, and across the UK there are millions of these properties that are still standing strong. As British architecture has favoured many differing styles throughout the decades, certain properties have a significantly different look compared to others. Eras roughly reflect the changing architectural styles over the broad time periods, and we thought we would highlight some of the most common below. 

  • Tudor: 1485 – 1603

tudor property for sale

Tudor properties are often considered some of the cosiest homes to live in, showcasing distinctive wooden beams, white plaster work and thatched roofs. These homes would have been designed and built at the end of the medieval period of British history, so new features and innovations were added to buildings both public and private during this time. In the early 20th century the Tudor style of property enjoyed renewed popularity before falling out of fashion again. 

One of the most famous examples of a large Tudor property is Cowdray House in Midhurst. Destroyed by fire in 1793, this wonderful Tudor mansion was built on the site of a 13th-century house and you can see the ruined, but still magnificent shell to this day. 

  • Georgian: 1714 – 1830

georgian house in chichester

The term Georgian originates from the four British kings who reigned between 1714 and 1830 – George I, George II, George III and George IV. During the Georgian period, Chichester was a town of craftsmen, working in their own workshops with an apprentice. The style of architecture from this time period is easily recognisable with their proportionally-sized rooms with tall windows. 10 Downing Street is a perfect example of a classic Georgian home, as most properties were built to be spacious and comfortable for their inhabitants. During this era, it was typical for the first and second storey of a house to be occupied by the owner and their family, while the staff lived on the top storeys. To accommodate his, rooms on the higher levels were much smaller, in contrast to the more elegant rooms at the bottom of the house. 

One of the most interesting things about Georgian homes is the bricked-up windows, which was done to combat the introduction of the window tax. In England and Wales, the Window Tax was introduced in 1696 and was repealed in 1851. Therefore, to avoid paying higher taxes during this time, many homeowners bricked up some of their windows.

  • Victorian: 1837 – 1901

victorian property for sale

Under the rule of Queen Victoria, this period was a time of an expanding middle class and an increase in the building of houses across the country. These are probably some of the most well-known properties, recognisable for their key characteristics including bay windows, large porches and turrets. Victorian homes are still very popular as they offer excellent, well-built period features and a good layout which is perfect for the modern household. Alongside the growing population of Britain, Chichester also grew considerably during the 19th century.

Although Victorian homes do retain some of the classical features that the Georgians adopted, the influence of the industrial revolution in Britain consequently introduced many changes to the way buildings were constructed. This huge boom in the demand for housing meant that terraced housing became commonplace, which could be constructed swiftly and cheaply close to factories for the workers. After 1875, most towns passed building regulations which highlighted how houses must be a certain distance apart, rooms and windows must also be of a certain size, which greatly improved the standards of the properties built during this time.

  • Edwardian: 1901 to 1910

Compared to the Victorian era, the Edwardian period was relatively short, but as this reign coincided with the huge housing boom, many Edwardian houses line our modern streets to this day. Architects were looking to break away from the rather dark and overbearing feeling often found in houses of the previous century, satisfying the desire for more natural light with multi-paned sash windows, large patio doors and high ceilings. This architectural style is considered to have continued to around 1920, ten years after Edward VII’s death.

Edwardian houses were the perfect combination of old and new, embracing a new modern take on a traditional home for families. These more manageable and airy homes not only look wonderful but are also known for being designed and constructed extremely well. 

Historic homes to rent with Hancock and Partners – Tudor Cottage in Midhurst

tudor house midhurst for sale

At Hancock and Partners, we are delighted to bring to market an interesting and historic home to rent, which is situated in the centre of the popular market town of Midhurst. Bathed in history, Tudor Cottage is presented with all the modern facilities of the 21st century, yet full of charm and character which dates back to the 16th century. The house with versatile accommodation is positioned over three floors and has the benefit of parking and an attractive rear garden. Tudor Cottage is located in the heart of this popular market town where many buildings are of Tudor origins, some hidden behind Georgian facades which were added in the 17th and 18th century demonstrating the town’s prosperity during this period in history. 

Tudor Cottage is a rare home to rent with may historic tales to tell. King Henry VIII himself visited Midhurst in 1538 and in 1545, further highlighting the wonderful historic charm of this town. This truly is one of the most wonderful houses to rent in Midhurst.

The town boasts an excellent range of shops, bars and cafes, pubs and restaurants and the Cowdray shop is only a short drive away. The Spread Eagle dates back to the 15th century which was an old coaching inn and today is a lovely hotel with a spa.  

The South Downs National Park and the surrounding countryside offer excellent walking, cycling and horse riding.  Nearby, Haslemere, Petersfield and Chichester all have recreational facilities and provide mainline services to London. 

If you would like to find out more about this historic property to rent, please call the Hancock and Partners Lettings team on 01243 531111 or visit our rental property page. 

What else do you need to know about renting a historic home? 

There are clearly huge differences between period homes and modern builds, and with the former you would often benefit from bigger rooms and a far superior build quality. Many would prefer to live in a period property over a modern one, but it is important to remember that these properties can require a lot more maintenance from the landlord to ensure their historic charm stays intact without compromising on comfort. 

In Chichester, this flourishing town demonstrates the historical value evident in the property market, and many of the houses available have been renovated to suit the needs of a modern homeowner. When you rent an old house, you benefit from living in a slice of history, packed with original features and character.

Would you like to rent a historic property?

With over 100 years of combined experience, here at Hancock and Partners, we would be more than happy to assist you on your journey to renting a historic home. Chichester and its surrounding areas are steeped in history, but still have the modern conveniences that you need to enjoy your life. By working with our experienced team of letting specialists, we can help you find the very best period properties. You can call us on 01243 531111 and a friendly member of our team will be ready to offer advice and help.