Victorian Plasterwork: History and Style

Once only found in Victorian homes, Victorian cornices and ceiling roses have now become one of the most popular choices for period plasterwork as they can quickly improve and enhance your home. Victorian ceiling roses add character and charm to tired ceilings, and even the simplest Victorian cornice can add a beautiful touch to any room. Whether you’re looking to restore Victorian plasterwork or simply want to add more character to a modern property, Victorian ceiling roses and cornices should be considered as an option.

Harrogate Club Plaster Ceiling Rose Large Victorian CP50 Bespoke Plaster Mouldings_3

Our large Victorian ceiling rose in Harrogate Club.

A short history lesson

Victorian architecture refers to work built during the reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1901. The plaster mouldings inspired by this period are typically intricate combinations of shapes and profiles, frequently involving standardised profiles and turnings made by machines.


In early Victorian times the cornices were large, ornate and often embellished with fruits, vines and flowers. However, towards the end of the period the mouldings became simpler in order to collect less dust. Moreover, the Victorian period plaster roses often had a ventilation grille fitted so that the fumes from the gas lights could escape up through the ceiling.
Overall, Victorian plaster mouldings were used to impress guests and improve the elegance of the homes of the upper class members of the society.

Victorian Cornices

At Bespoke Plaster Mouldings Ltd we offer a variety of Victorian cornices. Traditional cornices are a wonderful way to add a touch of character to your room without drawing away from other centrepieces and decor. However, if you'd like something with more pizzazz, then we suggest going for an elaborate design like this large Victorian cornice

Victorian Ceiling Roses

Ceiling centrepieces and medallions provide a decorative background for your light fitting and add character to any period property. Be sure to choose the correct size for your room, considering the ceiling height and proportions of the room. In addition, don't hesitate to consult your plasterer about your style and size preferences. 

If you're one of the few lucky people who have a traditional Victorian ceiling rose in their property, then you should already know that maintenance is key. Our experienced plasterers have done several projects of restoring original Victorian ceiling roses back to their glory, such as the one shown below. This is a task that should not be performed by unqualified individuals as it can greatly damage the plasterwork and could leave the rose stained or even broken.

Restoration-Victorian-Ceiling-Rose_6During the restoration of a traditional victorian ceiling rose.

On the other hand, if you're just a big fan of Victorian period plasterwork and interested in adding a traditional piece in your residence, then you can choose from a variety of Victorian ceiling roses. One of our most popular Victorian ceiling roses is the Bexley, a lavish and tasteful ceiling rose handcrafted in 17 individual pieces, all heavily undercut and detailed.

The Bexley ceiling rose.

Overall, whether you’re looking to restore Victorian plasterwork or would like to add a traditional statement period piece using plasterwork, Victorian period roses and cornices are highly recommended, and with our 30-year experience we'd be happy to help you pick the right one.

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