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wall–dormer, see gabled–dormer.
water leaf, a conventionalised representation of the leaf of an aquatic plant.
See under raking mouldings.
Weavers Lights
weavers’ lights, windows found in the upper storeys of pre–industrial weavers’ cottages and houses.
weight, see counterbalance–weight.
Welsh arch, an arch consisting of a keystone supported by two corbels or cantilevers.
Also known as a Caernarfon arch.
Wheel Window
wheel–window, a circular window with bars or colonnettes radiating like the spokes of a wheel.
window, an opening for the admission of light and air.
window–back, the framing between the bottom of a window and the floor.
window–bar, a mullion or any division between lights.
Window Board
window–board, an internal wooden cill.
Window Bossing
window–bossing, a recess beneath a window.
Window Box
window–box, a container for plants.
window–frame, a metal or wooden component with sashes or casements, that sits within a structural opening.
window–guard, a low external railing on a cill to safeguard plant pots; or an internal rail to prevent accidents due to falling.
window–head, the uppermost part of a frame or structural opening, or a decorative panel above a window.
window–lead, the totality of lead cames required to hold quarries or lights in position in a lattice–window or in leaded–lights.
window–ledge, an internal or external cill.
window–post, the timber vertical component against which a frame is fixed, in a timber–framed building.
Window Screen
window–screen, a protective lattice, shutter, or grille, or a mesh screen for the purpose of excluding insects.
Window Seat
window–seat, a seat formed between the jambs of a window, below the level of the cill.
Window Tax
Window Tax, a tax replacing the Hearth Tax; based on the number and size of windows in certain buildings, payable by the occupier rather than the owner.
Read also Note 7, Blind Windows. The Window Tax was not in operation in 1590 when Bess of Hardwick, the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I, started to build Hardwick Hall — a conspicuous statement of wealth and power, with windows on a vast scale. The advent of the tax a hundred years later, in 1696, when the house was in the hands of her son, made no difference — the windows remained intact. The rest of the population were affected by this ‘tax on daylight’ (the origin of the phrase ‘daylight robbery’) in differing degrees, according to the size and number of their windows in relation to their income. With the blocking–up of countless window openings over the next 150 years concern began to be voiced on the adverse effects of the window tax on both health and the state of the glass industry. Other taxes imposed on the ordinary man included Dog Tax, Horse Tax, Clock and Watch Tax, and Inhabited House Tax. (William Cobbett, pamphleteer, farmer, and journalist had written in 1833 — ‘£15. 11s. 8d. inhabited house–duty is paid by some hundreds annually from their daily exertions, three–fourths of whom, if their debts were paid, would not be worth £120 in the world. The inhabited house–duty, or rather the income tax so called, is most offensively partial in operation, and injurious in effect’). The hated window tax was abolished in 1851 but replaced by an increase in ‘inhabited house duties’, leaving few people very much better off. Throughout this period the very rich were largely unaffected and Hardwick Hall has remained to this day, as the rhyme says, ‘more glass than wall’.
Wing Light
wing–light, a side–light.
Wire Sash Cords
wire sash cord, flexible wire substitute for fabric sash cord.
Used in situations where fabric cords might be thought too obtrusive, and where trust had ceased to be placed in a natural material that was so subject to wear in prolonged repeated use. The illustration shows the wire–operated lower sashes in the nineteenth century replacement windows installed in an earlier house. Inset is an advertisement from the current catalogue of architectural and builder’s ironmongery showing the sizes (diameters) of galvanised steel sash wire. (See also the entry Comyn Ching).
Wyatt Window
Wyatt window, a window resembling a Serliana with a straight–headed central window rather than semicircular–headed, the whole surmounted by a segmental arch.
Named after its (supposed) inventor, the eighteenth century architect James Wyatt.