Federation Queen Anne style

Yes they are fussy buildings, but they’re also great fun to see!

Caerleon, located in Bellevue Hill, Sydney, was the first Queen Anne Style home constructed in Australia.


  • Look at the whimsy, the theatricality!
  • How many other Australian Houses give so much satisfaction to the viewer?
  • Can you see an elaborately dressed woman with a laced bonnet in her features?
  • The Queen Anne style promoted ‘Sweetness and Light‘ and shows a feminine decorative influence, compared to the more muscular Federation Bungalow style with its solid turned verandah columns.


TV Star: Architect John Horbury Hunt designed Camelot  at Camden in the late 1880's
TV Star: Architect John Horbury Hunt designed Camelot at Camden in the late 1880’s

Derived from English and American styles that revived elements from the domestic country architecture ofQueen Anne’s reign (1702-14), these picturesque Federation houses are deliberately complex, creating a kind of vigorous grandeur.

  • Plans invariably have one room projected forward, (assymetrical frontage) covered with a gable,
  • often with other gabled rooms projecting sideways from the main body of the house – www.buildingcommission.com.au

    We distinguish between

  • Queen Anne, also known as Free Classical style for commercial buildings
  • American Queen Anne, and
  • Federation Queen Anne styles, also known as Federation Free Classical style.
    Queen Anne style houses built before Federation are well represented in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, where they were built in (gold-mining) boom times of the 1870s and 1880s. (See Melbourne Queen Anne page)
English Queen Anne style house, Maida Vale, London - no verandah
English Queen Anne style house, Maida Vale, London – no verandah


English “Queen Anne” (revival) style:

  • This was an English style promoted by famous architect Richard Norman Shaw, and probably was derived from imported Dutch,Queen Anne period, and English cottage styles.
  • This style combined fine red brickwork, often in a warmer, softer finish than the Victorians were characteristically using…
  • varied with terracotta panels, or tile-hung upper stories,
  • with crisply painted white woodwork, or blond limestone detailing:
  • oriel windows, often stacked one above another,
  • corner towers, asymmetrical fronts and picturesque massing,
  • Flemish mannerist sunken panels of strapwork,
  • deeply shadowed entrances, broad porches, in a domesticated free Renaissance style

 The Queen Anne (revival) style of period house lasted for the second half of the 19th century, from 1860 until 1900.

  • It has no real connection with the architecture of Queen Anneherself who reigned from 1702 to 1714,[1] (although her sister Mary married William of Orange, who then invaded and ascended to the throne of England, bringing with him a host of Dutch influences, including gabled architecture, and sash windows).
  • This illustration (above) shows a very Dutch gable, with other strong Dutch architectural influences outlined below.

Australian Federation Queen Anne Style


Gabled, high-pitched roof

  • made of slate or terracotta tiles.
  • surmounted by terracotta ridging with finials,
  • tall chimneys
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Bare, tuck-pointed bricks often of two tones

  • red bricks across the facade
  • sometimes browner ‘town’ bricks on side walls
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Double hung, or casement;

  • formal rooms have leadlight glass windows
  • bay windows to the front;
  • fanlights and transom windows of coloured glass
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Doors have leadlight in upper part of door,

  • may have leadlight glass in surrounding door-set
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Verandah across at least part of the facade (frontage)

  • Later homes often have a ‘return’ verandah;
  • Square or turned verandah posts with decorative timber work
  • Floor of patterned tiles
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In General

  • Usually asymmetrical design (‘picturesque‘),
  • Formal bedroom projects forward from house
  • The massing of the building (eg most features) toward
    the front of the house
  • Art Nouveau influence evident in the flowing, curved
    designs of leadlight, tiling, and timber fretwork
  • Nationalistic representations both within the interior
    and on the exterior of the house
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Queen Anne style includes….

Burwood’s (NSW) ‘Alba Longa’ 4 Appian Way with Gothic tower, red brick walls and white-painted window woodwork. Even the garden is period style, the better to see this fanciful home
  • classical but without following the rules of proportion
  • hipped roofs with steep sides (imitating English country thatched cottage roofs)
  • lead or copper coated cupolas over turrets and oriels.
  • ribbed chimney-stacks
  • gables, either straight or (curvy) Dutch
  • tile-hung walls, in red brick
  • Dutch or Flemish door surrounds i.e. pilasters, half round stucco design over top
  • three-sided bay windows (rather than the second-storey oriels used in England)
  • brick pediments and pilasters
  • white-painted woodwork
  • sash windows with small panes in the upper half
  • or casement windows with leaded lights
  • fan-lights (windows above doors, including internal doors)
  • brick aprons below (bay) windows
  • fretwork, verandah friezes or wrought iron work
  • decorative terracotta embellishments with designs such as sunflowers (UK only)
    – from Bricks & Brass

external image 250px-Carson_Mansion_Eureka_California.jpg external image WestMalingSydney0004.jpg
The Carson Mansion, located in Eureka, California, is widely considered to be one of the highest executions of American Queen Anne style. Tudor styled ‘West Maling’, Queen Anne Federation home, 663-665 King Georges Road Penshurst, Sydney This style was also called Tudor revival

In Australia, the Queen Anne style was absorbed into the Federation style,

  • which was, broadly speaking, the Australian equivalent of the Edwardian style,
  • derived from the influence of Richard Norman Shaw, an influential British architect of the late Victorian era.

Federation Queen Anne style

Gothic styled 'Olmora' 308 Burwood Rd, Queen Anne Federation home, Burwood, Sydney with characteristic white painted woodwork, finial on turret, terracotta ridge ornaments
Gothic styled ‘Olmora’ 308 Burwood Rd, Queen Anne Federation home, Burwood, Sydney with characteristic white painted woodwork, finial on turret, terracotta ridge ornaments


steeply pitched roofs, with at least one gable end facing the street and often an octagonal turret

  • widespread ornamentation, including terracotta ridge cappings, finials, dragons and gargoyles (more so in Victoria);
  • fretted frieze panels and post brackets, squared verandah posts,
  • chimney cornices and terracotta pots
  • leadlight windows and fretwork featuring patterns ranging from geometric to extravagant art nouveau designs –www.buildingcommission.com.au


  • ceilings often divided into panels ornamented with plaster straps and shallow patterns with (delicate) art nouveau motifs
  • frequent use of timber panelling on lower walls in front rooms
  • fire-places and ingle-nooks (seated fire surrounds).
    Elaborate Gothic Queen Anne designed 'Vallambrosa' 19 Appian Way, Burwood, Sydney
    Elaborate Gothic Queen Anne designed ‘Vallambrosa’ 19 Appian Way, Burwood, Sydney
  • Walls with picturerails and sometimes wall-paper, using art nouveau patterns
  • pressed metal or painted plaster –www.buildingcommission.com.au

Distinctive Features:

  1. Front verandas with elaborate timber decoration
  2. Bay windows using quadruple casements,
  3. Tiling on the patio floor and entry paths
  4. Brickwork in a deep red or dark brown, often with a mix of the two
  5. Roofs of typically slate or terracotta tiles with decorative gables,
  6. Roofs have timber features, motifs, tall chimneysand fretwork
  7. ‘Witches Hat’ roofing
  8. Decorative leadlight windows
  9. Circular windows (known as bulls-eye windows)


  1. Plasterwork,
  2. High ceilings
  3. Timber features.

The style as it developed in Australia was highly eclectic, blending Queen Anne elements with various Australian influences.

  • Urrbrae House, Urrbrae,
    Urrbrae House, Urrbrae,

    Old English characteristics like ribbed chimneys and gabled roofs were combined with Australian elements like encircling verandahs, designed to keep the sun out.

  • One outstanding example of this eclectic approach is Urrbrae House, in the Adelaide suburb of Urrbrae, South Australia, part of the Waite Institute. See also Urrbrae House, Glen Osmond
  • Another variation with connections to the Federation Queen Anne style was the Federation Bungalow, featuring prominent verandahs. This style generally incorporated familiar Queen Anne elements, but usually in simplified form.

Some prominent examples are:

'Colonna' 304 Burwood Road
‘Colonna’ 304 Burwood Road
'Olevanus' 6 Appian Way
‘Olevanus’ 6 Appian Way
'Amalfi' 2 Appian Way
‘Amalfi’ 2 Appian Way
'Vallambrosa' 19 Appian Way
‘Vallambrosa’ 19 Appian Way
'Mevania' 7 Appian Way
‘Mevania’ 7 Appian Way

Caerleon, Bellevue Hill

Caerleon is a two-storey Queen Anne home built in 1885 in Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW. The house, was designed for a member of the Fairfax family, Charles B.Fairfax. The architectural design was English.

Caerleon is a two-storey Queen Anne home built in 1885

This house represents a rich example of Queen Anne elements:

  • red brick walls with stone dressing, terracotashingles,
  • balconies, bay windows, verandahs,
  • leadlight windows and elaborate chimneys.
  • It is said to have been the first Queen Anne home in Australia and
  • set the tone for the Federation Queen Anne homes that were to become so popular (i.e. no Gothic influence)
  • It was sold for $22 million in January, 2008.

Earliest Queen Anne in Australia:

These houses, although built around the same time, had distinct styles:

  • Melbourne Houses show Gothic influences
  • West Maling displaying a strong Tudor influence that was not present in Annesbury.

The Queen Anne style soon became increasingly popular, appealing predominantly to reasonably well-off people with an “Establishment” leaning.

81 Muston Street Mosman
81 Muston Street Mosman


Mosman Heritage Federation Queen Anne

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