Period front doors throughout the ages, from Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian through to more modern styles, are notable for their elegant panel and moulding designs which give a door depth, shape and character, and are a key feature to reproduce when replacing original period front doors.

In this article, we’ll explore how front doors have evolved, focusing on their panels and mouldings throughout history.

What are period front door panels?

Front door panels are typically rectangular or square, solid timber or glazed sections that are held in place by the stiles and rails of a front door. Timber panels are either flat or ‘raised and fielded’, which gives a more 3-dimensional look to the door panels.

In Georgian times, the front door was a key feature of most townhouses, positioned in the centre of a property’s façade, and was often a large, solid timber door with 6 solid timber panels.

Victorian 4 panel front door with bolection mouldings

The Victorian era brought the advent of larger bay windows, which meant that the front door became less prominent and was often relegated to a side wall. The classic Victorian front door is smaller than the Georgian front door and typically has 4 panels, either solid timber or with the top panels glazed. Both Victorian and Georgian front doors often feature a glazed ‘top light’ above the door.

At the turn of the century during the Edwardian era, stained glass became popular, typically in a rectangular or oval shaped panel above three rectangular timber panels. Edwardian front doors, with their verandas and gables, marked a return to the front door as focal point on a property’s façade – and often feature top lights as well as glazed side panels around the front door.

What are period front door mouldings?

The moulding is the shape of the inside edge where the panels meet the stiles and rails of the front door. The two main types of front door mouldings are flush mouldings and raised mouldings, which are also called bolection mouldings.

Flush mouldings, as the name suggests, do not protrude outwards and are flush with the surface of the rest of the door. They sit inside the door panel for a simpler, more understated look. Classic flush door moulding styles for period front doors include ovolo, lambs tongue and ogee.

Bolection mouldings are larger and more extravagant, as they extend outwards beyond the surface of the rest of the door to give a more three-dimensional look. Bolection ogee mouldings are a classic style for many period doors, although bolection mouldings can come in many unique styles.

Although there have been a huge range of front door styles throughout the ages, from the timber and panelling to the glazing and ironmongery, some front door specialists are able to exactly replicate the design and finish of any period doors.

As specialists in timber front doors for period, conservation and listed buildings, at Timbawood we can carefully match your existing door, or work with you to create a unique design that stays true to the character of your property.

Our windows and doors have been approved for listed buildings and conservation areas in over 30 planning authorities.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your project with one of our experts, or have a look at our front door gallery. We primarily serve Central London, West and South West London, Middlesex and Surrey.