Eaves and gables: original details

Treatment of eaves and gables ranged from relatively simple to highly elaborate.


The eaves to villas were described as boxed eaves and were typically around 8–12” (200–300 mm) wide and timber lined – often up to two board widths. 

A horizontal 12” (300 mm) wide top board was typically used to finish the top of the cladding to horizontal eaves with mouldings to the intersections to form a frieze, and it was to this board that the eaves brackets (in a wide range of styles) were fixed (see Figure 1). 

In a number of more elaborate designs, a second 12” (300 mm) board was added. The fascia board to which the gutter was fixed was 8” (200 mm) wide, typically plain, but it often incorporated a moulding to trim to the bottom of the gutter. 

The eave was finished with timber eaves brackets – generally the brackets were applied to the part of the building visible from the street and may be omitted from those areas not readily visible.

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Gables typically provided an 8” (200 mm) overhang and were lined to the underside, but there were wide variations in how the top or apex of the gable was treated (Figures 2-7). They were typically used above the bay windows, but a small number of hipped roofs over bay windows were also built.

There are a wide variety of gable end treatments ranging from the relatively plain and simple, except for the lower ends of the barge board, to the elaborate, where the top half of the gable is infilled with decorative timber work.

Gables usually did not include the wide trim to finish the top of the cladding.

Variations included:

  • tiles in brick construction
  • shingles
  • stepping out
  • curved timbering
  • pressed metal
  • narrow overlapping boards.

The top or apex of the gable was traditionally finished with a finial – according to legend, to ward off witches.