Top 10 Famous Victorian Architecture

Several revival architectural styles famous during the 18 – 19th century were categorized as the Victorian architecture for being built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth ( Victorian Era ). 

The architectures tagged as the Victorian architecture had the Gothic styles, Italian styles, and styles inspired by the past periods. 

The Palace of Westminster, built around the 1850s, is one of the most renowned Victorian architecture built under the Gothic style and was used as the summer house and for retreating by the Queen. 

Other Victorian masterpieces like the Osborne House with Italianate architectural style and many others fall under the most celebrated architectural works during that era.

Top 10 famous Victorian architecture which has been categorized under the Grade I level buildings are listed below with details.

10. Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster Victorian Architecture
Year:1840-1870
Location:Westminster, London
Architect:Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin


The Palace of Westminster built between the years 1840 and 1870 is one of the most celebrated Victorian architecture in history. It was built by Famous architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin and is located in Westminster, London.

Being the House to the House of Parliament of the United Kingdom, it remains one of the most recognizable buildings and a symbol for the world. Its appearance has the inclusion of the famous Gothic styles. 

Two skillful architects reconstructed it after the damage of the building due to the massive fire of 1834. Barry and Pugin turned the building into the Palace of Westminster which was later able to be listed as one of the Grades I buildings in the year 1987. 

The owner of this Victorian palace is the monarch of Great Britain and happens to be the residence for the royals. Numerous monarchical ceremonies are held in this very palace as it is considered to be the most significant symbols of London.

9. Osborne House

Victorian Architecture: Osborne House
Year:1845 - 1851
Location:Isle of Wight, UK
Architect:Prince Albert

The Osborne House was built by Prince Albert, one of the most renowned architects, between the years 1845 and 1851. It is located on the East Cowes, Isle of Wight of the United Kingdom.

Queen Victoria loved built-in an Italianate architectural style, the famous Osborne House and she along with her husband, would like to retreat to Osborne during her reign. She even spent her time there during her widowhood and died there in the year 1901.

Though it was built for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Albert, some of the parts of the estate were turned into a private museum after the demise of the Queen and was opened for the members of the royal family only and used for training the Royal Navy.

The private museum is now open for everyone, including royal members and public for tours.

8. Balmoral Castle

Victorian Architecture: Balmoral Castle
Year:1852
Location:Royal Deeside, Scotland
Architect:William Smith with the direction of Prince Albert

The Balmoral Castle completed in the year 1852 is considered the most renowned castle in the world. It was built by talented architect William Smith with the direction of Prince Albert and is located in the Royal Deeside of Scotland.

The masterpiece was built for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Albert. The estate was primarily brought as private property and then designed like the famous Balmoral Castle with a few modifications made by the Prince.

The castle has been able to place itself on the list of Category A buildings and has been an exemplary Scots Baronial architecture. 

The gardens and the ballroom exhibition of the Victorian castle are open to the public for tours but, only the members of the royal family are allowed to enter inside the Balmoral Castle.

7. Royal Albert Hall 

Victorian Architecture: Royal Albert Hall
Year:1867 - 1871
Location:Kensington Gore, United Kingdom
Architect:Captain Francis Fowke and Major Henry Y.D Scott

The Royal Albert Hall built between the years 1867 and 1871 is considered as the favorite venue for the entertainment purpose of London.

It was built by two magnificent architects Captain Francis Fowke and Major Henry Y. D Scott and is located in Kensington Gore, United Kingdom.

The famous hall has been designed in the Italianate style, which hosts live music and concerts by world-famous artists along with the dance performances, award ceremonies, movie screenings, and sports events. It has been organizing such programs since the start ( 150 years ).

The hall was primarily built with the name Central Hall of Arts and Sciences but was renamed as the Royal Albert Hall by Queen Victoria after she founded stone in the year 1867 as for the memorial act for her husband, Prince Albert.

6. Victoria Building, University of Liverpool

Victorian Architecture: Victoria Building, University of Liverpool
Year:1889 - 1892
Location:Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Architect:Alfred Waterhouse

The Victoria Building, University of Liverpool was built by Alfred Waterhouse between the years 1889 and 1892. It is located in Liverpool, Merseyside, England and also has been listed under the Grade II category.

The building was primarily built with the concept of university, including the accommodation for teaching, administration, library, and a standard room within the design. It is also the former headquarters of the University of Liverpool.

The building became the inspiration for the term – red brick university as it was built using only the red bricks.  With the renovation of the building in 2008, it got turned into a museum and was named Victoria Gallery and Museum.

Since 2008, the Victoria Building has been showcasing the art collections and artifacts and is celebrated as the Victorian architect worldwide.

5. Carson Mansion

Victorian Architecture: Carson Mansion
Year:1884 - 1886
Location:Eureka, California, United States
Architect:Samuel Newson and Joseph Cather

The Carson Mansion built between the years 1884 and 1886 is probably the most celebrated Victorian architect of the United States. It was designed by Samuel Newson and Joseph Cather and is located in Old Town, Eureka, California in the United States.

The building is made in the mixture of various famous architectural styles including Italianate, Stick, Eastlake, and primarily with the form of Queen Anne and is taken as the grand Victorian home in the United States of America.

The estate was initially made for, William Carson, a famous American entrepreneur but since the year 1950 it has been used by the Ingomar Club as a private clubhouse.

With the privatization of the mansion, the garden, as well as the estate, has been closed for the public.

4. Manchester Town Hall

Victorian Architecture: Manchester Town Hall
Year:1868-1877
Location:Manchester, England
Architect: Alfred Waterhouse

The Manchester Town Hall was built by the renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse between the years 1868 and 1877. It is located in Manchester, England.

Built-in the Neo-gothic style of architecture, this building is one of the most spectacular Victorian architecture of the Victorian era. The estate was primarily built for meetings of the city council.

With the popularity and its impact, the town hall is now turned into a massive venue for weddings, hosting of programs, conferences, and especially for the filming of movies. 

Famous movies like Iron Lady, Sherlock Holmes, and Victor Frankenstein used this estate to shoot the film for being the most renowned landmarks of Manchester.

3. Palm House, Kew Gardens 

Victorian Architecture: Palm House, Kew Gardens
Year:1844-1848
Location:Royal Botanic Gardens, United Kingdom
Architect: Decimus Burton and Richard Turner

The Palm House of the Kew Gardens was built between the years 1844 and 1848 and is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, United Kingdom. The house was built by two of the most skillful architects Decimus Burton and Richard Turner.

The magnificent Palm House has been creating history since the time it was first built due to the use of wrought iron and glass without having any supporting columns.

The house has been housing both tropical and subtropical plants from the starting period out of which the plant of palms is the most famous one. The estate is taken as the rainforest for the inclusion of such plants.

The greenhouse of the Kew Gardens is open to the public for 4 days a week ( Monday to Thursday).

2. Cliveden pal

Victorian Architecture: Cliveden pal
Year:1851
Location:Buckinghamshire, South East England
Architect:Charles Barry

The Cliveden pal was built in the year 1851 by the famous Charles Barry. It is located in Buckinghamshire, South East England.

The estate was built in Italianate style and is considered as one of the most celebrated architectures of the Victorian era.

The building was first built in 1666 and was destroyed by fire twice ( 1795 and 1849 )and was re-constructed as the Cliveden pal in 1851. It is famously known as the place of the Profumo affair, an affair between the British War Secretary and a 19-year old showgirl.

The masterpiece was converted into a luxurious hotel since the 1980s and remained as one. The gardens of this renowned building are also world-famous and considered as the most famous gardens in history.

1. Victoria Law Courts

Victorian Architecture: Victoria Law Courts
Year:1887
Location:Corporation Street, Birmingham
Architect:ston Webb and Ingress Bell

The Victorian Law Courts completed in the year 1887 was built by two famous architects Aston Webb and Ingress Bell. It is located in the corporation street in Birmingham.

The estate is built with terracotta and red bricks and falls under the list of Grade I category. Queen Victoria herself laid the foundation stone, which led it to gain its popularity and leave an impact on world history.

The chandeliers used in the great hall are renowned for resembling the Queen’s coronation crown and also for being the first ones powered with electricity. Even the sandy-yellow terracotta used in the hall helped the estate to gain more popularity.

The Victoria Law Court was occupied by the Alaska Works and a small school previously, but now the Magistrate Court of Birmingham is housed in it.

Conclusion:

The famous and skilled work shown on the buildings and estates by the great masters in the field of architecture ended up with the prestigious tag of Victorian architecture and left an impact on the modern-day architecture.

The works mentioned above have their significance and values which should be respected and taken as an inspiration by all, including the new aged architects and commoners.

Other significant Victorian architectures besides the ones listed above include Postcard Rows – Painted Ladies and John Rylands Library. 

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Cite this article as: Richard Marrison, "Top 10 Famous Victorian Architecture," in HistoryTen, March 27, 2020, https://historyten.com/victorian-era/famous-victorian-architecture/.
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