Beautiful Examples of Victorian Architecture

I’m in love with Victorian architecture — especially Victorian style homes. There’s something both classic and whimsical about them that makes my heart skip a beat when I see a beautiful example of this style. There are actually several architectural styles classified as Victorian. But in the larger group there are a few features of Victorian architecture that really make them stand out.

Today I’m going to share three of my favorite features of Victorian architecture, and show you a few photos that illustrate each one. I hope you enjoy this collection of beautiful Victorian buildings.

Features and Examples of Victorian Architecture


1. Height

Victorian homes are often taller than similar sized homes of other styles — spreading upward rather than outward. This gives them a grand sense when you look at them, and it goes a long way to set themselves apart from other houses in the same area. Here are a few photos of three-story Victorian buildings to give you a better idea of what I mean.

Victorian House
Credit: Slideshow Bruce (via Flickr)
Victorian House
Credit: Alaskan Dude (via Flickr)
Victorian House
Credit: yorkville (via Flickr)

2. Turrets

Here’s where that whimsical style I mentioned comes in. Many Victorian buildings have turrets — in other words, towers. And really, what’s not to love about towers? They don’t have to be extreme. Some are round. Others aren’t. Here are a couple of examples of Victorian homes with turrets to give you an idea of their variety.

Victorian House
Credit: marada (via Flickr)
Victorian House
Credit: Muffet (via Flickr)

3. Millwork

The millwork on many Victorian homes sometimes takes my breath away. You just don’t see this kind of ornamental effort go into new homes as much anymore. Millwork is the decorative woodwork you’ll find on the home or inside it.

Have you ever seen old homes with gorgeous wooden doors, staircases, and built-in shelving? Those are examples. So are baseboards, fireplace mantles, and the wood paneling sometimes on the walls. Oh, how I wish more modern homes would feature gorgeous millwork. It sometimes feels like a lost art. Here are a few external and internal examples.

Victorian House
Credit: Wonderlane (via Flickr)
Victorian Millwork
Credit: Lee Coursey (via Flickr)
Victorian Dining Room - Millwork
Credit: KidMoxie (via Flickr)
Victorian Millwork - Internal
Credit: KidMoxie (via Flickr)

If I could run out and buy my dream home without a second thought, it would definitely be a three-story Victorian home with at least one turret and plenty of handcrafted internal and external millwork. What about you? Do you find any of these architectural elements appealing? Does the storybook-like appearance of some Victorian architecture interest you or do you prefer other styles more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by
Jennifer Mattern
Join the discussion

  • Victorian houses always get my imagination stirred up, remembering stories, thinking up new ones. I love them, used to want to live in one. But now I also see all the work in upkeep involved and so would rather my friends live in them and I’d visit and maybe help with some painting now and then. The Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT. is a wonderful place with gorgeous millwork.

    • You’re right that it’s second empire. But it is also victorian. Second empire is a common sub-classification or type of victorian architecture.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    You have offered very inspiring examples.

    Please consider visiting Prince Edward Island, Canada, to further amaze yourself. The excellence in 19th. C. shipbuilding was a wonderful synthesis with the fine home craftsmanship. They are too often overlooked here and sometimes can be found for a song. Others and the small New England style churches which dot the hillsides are torn down.

    It is dumbfounding the zeal for “new.”

    On this note, every week, locals advertise “for free” the typically ornate solid wood foot pedal organs which occupied these homes. Some are as exquisitely styled as elaborate spired wedding cakes. We now have THREE because we couldn’t bear the “last calls before taking to the dump on Monday!”

    Keep up your good work!



    Black Fox Manor Historic Inn
    Prince Edward Island, Canada