What Is a Victorian Fireplace? What Is a Victorian Fireplace?

If you don’t own a Victorian era home, you can still decorate your home with a beautiful Victorian fireplace to give your living room an elegant and opulent look. Whether you purchase a replication or an antique, these ornate fireplaces can transform your home into a different era.

What is a Victorian Fireplace?

Victorian England was the first mass consumer society, with the wealth of Victorians growing rapidly as industrialization took off from the mid-1830s to beginning of the 20th century. The middle class began to take great pride in their homes and selected furnishings that had previously been reserved only for the upper class.

A Victorian drawing room or parlour was always the most spacious room in the house. Following the style of the time, this room was crammed with furniture and ornaments. The centerpiece and main focus of the room was always the fireplace.

Victorian Fireplace Designs

What began as marble or slate chimney pieces soon became cast iron frames with tilesets on each side with a mantle made from slate or pine. The tiles can be quite colorful, highly patterned and come in a range of designs to match your décor. The cast iron frames are heavy and durable, making them capable of lasting for over a century in many cases.

Typically, there are two kinds of Victorian fireplaces – those with simple arched inserts and those with tile inserts. Arched insert fireplaces consist of simple decorated arches with subdued patterned banding. The tile insert fireplaces consist of a cast iron frame surrounded by colorful tiles of varying patterns that can include a whole spectrum of colors.

Things to Consider When Buying a Victorian Fireplace

There are two kinds of Victorian fireplaces for purchase today – reclaimed and replications. In most cases, both types of fireplaces can burn either gas or solid fuels, but check with the dealer to make sure before buying. Here are a few differences between the two.

  • Reclaimed Victorian Fireplaces: reclaimed fireplaces are restored to their original condition. These are made from the original cast iron frames that where so indicative of Victorian era fireplaces.
  • Replica Victorian Fireplaces:  replications can be done in a number of styles of the Victorian era and are generally done by using patterns from original fireplaces from the time period to achieve a true reproduction. Many companies use traditional foundry casting methods, following how the fireplaces were originally made. 

The Victorian fireplace has long symbolized a look of wealth and can add an elegant look to any room.

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