Sliding sash windows originated in Europe in the 13th Century In this period they were no more than vertical sliding wooden shutters that were kept in place with a series of holes and wooden pegs.300 years later, by the end of the sixteenth century they had evolved into a form we now recognise as traditional sash windows. 16th Century sash windows were then glazed and were able to slide horizontally. It was around the mid-17th Century that the original design was superseded in France, with the French introducing vertical sliding sash windows. It has been noted that these windows were safer to use in staircases and passageways, as deemed to be safer for the resident.
The Great Fire of London which started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner in Pudding Lane in 1666 also played a unique role in sash window design. Building regulations were overhauled after the devastation in the hope of reducing the risk of fire and its rapid spread through the city.