Let's find what you're looking for

    Glass Windows
    Through Time

    arrow Back to blog 31st July 2015

    Glass windows through time is a fascinating journey through time as we delve from The Romans to Tudors beyond to take us to the present day.

    The Romans

    The Romans were the first people known to have used glass for their windows. Glass was an expensive material and the technology was fairly basic, which meant that glass windows were only used by the very wealthy in private and public buildings. The few examples of glass panels uncovered from Roman times show that they were thicker than windows today, and often coloured glass was used rather than clear.

    Middle Ages

    When the Roman Empire fell much of their technological knowledge soon became forgotten, including the skill of glass window making. As such in the early Middle Ages even the very wealthy didn’t have glass windows, instead windows would have been small and covered using either paper, animal skin, or wooden shutters. In the high to late Middle Ages stained glass windows started to become common in major churches and Cathedrals, as well as by wealthy aristocrats in private houses and important public buildings.

    Tudor Period

    During the Tudor period glass window making technology began to advance, which led to windows that were made from clear glass becoming common in buildings owned by the upper classes. As the technology become more widespread, glass windows started to become common in middle-class homes as well, although it was normal for just half of their windows to be made from glass. Despite the growing use of glass windows, it was still expensive so it wasn’t unusual for nobles who were away from their estates for long periods of time to have their windows removed and stored away.

    Industrial Revolution

    Glass technology continued to advance in the 17th Century and by the 1680s sash windows were common in middle-class and upper-class homes. When the Industrial Revolution took hold in the mid-18th Century, glass manufacturing became cheaper which meant that glass windows became more widely used. A common feature of Regency houses was floor to ceiling windows, which demonstrated how inexpensive and technologically advanced glass windows had become.

    20th Century

    In the 20th Century glass windows were the norm for all buildings. During this century skyscrapers began to dominate city skylines, most of which were predominately made from glass. Other types of glass windows also became available, notably skylights and roof lights. By the end of the 20th Century architects were experimenting with how to use glass windows to alter the look and impact of buildings.


    In the 21st Century glass window technology continues to advance. Self-cleaning windows, glass that blocks out UVA and UVB rays, and glass that provides better insulation are all available now. As homeowners, builders and architects are demanding more from property designs we at Sunsquare are working hard to provide innovative and skylights and roof lights safe glass options that meet individual demands and specifications.

    Share this guide

    Want to know more

    If you want to know more about this or anything else then get in contact.

    Call us on 01922 714087

    Email sales@sunsquare.co.uk

    refine search


    28 April 2021

    Lowest U-Values in the skylight industry

    U-values are touted by companies as a selling point for their products. Until now, all skylight U-values are calculated in exactly the same was as a vertical window, which gives a false reading and misleads the client.

    Read morearrow
    The benefits of using BSI

    26 May 2020

    Desire for quality never stops

    In what has been one of the more traumatic times for British industry, Sunsquare, whilst not fully operational until beginning of May, have been busy during downtime. Our desire to continue to be the market leading in our field didn’t get locked down. Quite the opposite. Not only have we been testing product and designing, […]

    Read morearrow
    Self Cleaning Glass

    05 October 2019

    Thoughts on Brexit

    Obviously Sunsquare are not immune to industry trends, but it is comforting to see that the clients that have used our services over the recent turbulent months are citing quality and qualification as the reason for using the skylight budget with us.

    Read morearrow
    The importance of environmental management

    27 August 2019

    The Demise of a British Great | R.Durtnell and Sons Ltd

    We were very sad indeed to receive a letter a few days ago for the official receivers for R. Durtnell and Sons Ltd.

    Read morearrow
    Aero Pyramid Skylight

    10 August 2019

    Sing when you’re winning

    It’s been quite a few months for Sunsquare. New skylights launched, shows to shout about and a spanking new website to admire.

    Read morearrow
    Skylights and rooflights

    13 June 2019

    Another industry first for skylight pioneers Sunsquare

    Sunsquare has not only achieved the Kitemark accreditation for another 3 years, but the ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations with no non-conformities.

    Read morearrow

    Sunsquare Accessories

    Find out morearrow

    Sunsquare Skylights

    Find out morearrow

    Since 2004, Sunsquare Limited has been pioneering skylight design

    Call us on 01922 714087