null Skip to main content


Britain's Elegant Interiors | Trims & Mouldings

Britain's Elegant Interiors | Trims & Mouldings

Posted by Skirting World on 5th Jul 2024

Interior Trims and Mouldings of Iconic British Buildings

British architecture is renowned for its meticulous attention to interior trims and mouldings, reflecting a rich heritage of craftsmanship and style. This exploration delves into the intricate details of some of the UK's most iconic buildings, offering insights into the influence of famous British interior designers and classic British design elements.

Key Interior Elements

  • ✦ Architraves: Decorative mouldings framing doorways and windows
  • ✦ Wall Panelling: Ornate wooden panels adorning walls
  • ✦ Skirting Boards: Decorative boards along the base of interior walls
  • ✦ Cornices: Ornamental mouldings at the junction of walls and ceilings
  • ✦ Ceiling Roses: Decorative plasterwork centrepieces on ceilings
Blenheim Palace Interior

Blenheim Palace

Location: Oxfordshire

Grade: I

Blenheim Palace showcases exquisite Baroque interiors with elaborate plaster ceilings and ornate skirting boards. The State Rooms boast  rich wood panelling, detailed cornices, and gilded mouldings that exemplify 18th-century craftsmanship. The interiors reflect influences of the British colonial style, evident in the use of dark wood furniture and luxurious fabrics.

Westminster Abbey Interior

Westminster Abbey

Location: London

Grade: I

Westminster Abbey's  Gothic architecture features stunning stone carvings and ribbed vaulting. The Henry VII Chapel boasts intricate fan vaulting, while the nave and aisles are adorned with decorative architraves and moulded bases. This craftsmanship epitomises the classic British interior design style, with its focus on detailed trims and mouldings.

Hampton Court Palace Interior

Hampton Court Palace

Location: Surrey

Grade: I

Known for its Tudor and Baroque interiors, Hampton Court Palace boasts detailed wood panelling, ornate fireplaces, and decorative plaster ceilings. The Great Hall's hammerbeam roof and the Chapel Royal's ceiling exemplify the use of intricate mouldings and trims. The influence of renowned designers like William Kent is evident in the detailed cornices and  skirting boards.

The Influence of British Interior Designers

British interior design has been shaped by numerous influential designers throughout history. Figures like William Kent, Robert Adam, and  Thomas Chippendale have left indelible marks on the field, influencing everything from furniture design to architectural details.

  • William Kent (1685-1748): Known for his Palladian style, Kent was a pioneer in integrating architecture, interior design, and landscape design.
  • Robert Adam (1728-1792): Famous for his neoclassical style, Adam's work is characterised by light elegance and subtle coloration.
  • Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779): While primarily a furniture maker, Chippendale's designs greatly influenced interior trims and mouldings, particularly in the use of intricate wood carvings.
Windsor Castle Interior

Windsor Castle

Location: Windsor, Berkshire

Grade: I

Windsor Castle's State Apartments are renowned for their lavish décor, including detailed plaster mouldings, rich woodwork, and stucco ceilings. St George's Hall features a spectacular ceiling with gilded motifs and extensive wood panelling, highlighting the opulent style typical of British mansion interiors. The  intricate skirting boards and cornices throughout the castle showcase the pinnacle of British craftsmanship.

Chatsworth House Interior

Chatsworth House

Location: Derbyshire

Grade: I

Chatsworth House showcases  Georgian and Baroque interior styles with carved wood panelling, gilded cornices, and painted ceilings. The Painted Hall and the State Drawing Room highlight the detailed decorative elements that define its interiors, inspired by classic British interior design principles. The intricate architraves and skirting boards throughout the house are prime examples of British craftsmanship.

Kenwood House Interior

Kenwood House

Location: London

Grade: I

Kenwood House features elegant neoclassical interiors with intricate plaster ceilings, ornate skirting boards, and detailed architraves. The Great Library is renowned for its decorative mouldings and classical design elements by Robert Adam, a famous British interior designer who significantly influenced neoclassical style. The library's ornate ceiling and intricate wall panelling are particularly noteworthy.

Preserving British Architectural Heritage

The preservation of these iconic buildings and their intricate interior details is crucial for maintaining Britain's rich architectural heritage. Organisations like  Historic England, the  National Trust, and various conservation societies play vital roles in ensuring these treasures are protected for future generations.

Restoration and conservation efforts often involve highly skilled craftspeople who specialise in traditional techniques, ensuring that repairs and renovations remain true to the original designs. This dedication to authenticity helps maintain the historical integrity of these magnificent interiors.

Castle Howard Interior

Castle Howard

Location: North Yorkshire

Grade: I

Known for its Baroque architecture, Castle Howard's interiors include ornate plasterwork, wood carvings, and gilded mouldings. The Great Hall and the Long Gallery are particularly noted for their detailed decorative trims and ceiling mouldings, reflecting the grandeur of British heritage interiors. The intricate skirting boards and cornices throughout the castle are exemplary of 18th-century British design.

Holyrood Palace Interior

Holyrood Palace

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Grade: A (Scottish designation)

Holyrood Palace features ornate ceilings, detailed wood panelling, and intricate plaster mouldings. The Great Gallery and the King's Bedchamber are noted for their decorative trims and historical interiors, showcasing elements of British colonial style in their design. The palace's skirting boards and architraves are particularly noteworthy, reflecting the changing tastes of British royalty over centuries.

Palace of Westminster Interior

Palace of Westminster

Location: London

Grade: I

The Gothic Revival architecture of the Palace of Westminster features elaborate stonework, intricate wood carvings, and rich decorative elements. The House of Lords and Westminster Hall showcase detailed mouldings and ornate ceilings, reflecting the influence of classic British interior design. Westminster Hall, with its stunning hammerbeam roof, and the intricate wood carvings in the House of Lords are prime examples of exquisite interior trims and mouldings. The palace's ornate skirting boards and cornices are particularly noteworthy, demonstrating the highest level of craftsmanship in British architectural history.

Birmingham Town Hall Interior

Birmingham Town Hall

Location: Birmingham

Grade: I

An iconic example of neoclassical architecture, Birmingham Town Hall features intricate plasterwork, ornate columns, and detailed interior mouldings that reflect its 19th-century grandeur. The interior includes Corinthian columns, elaborate cornices, and decorative friezes, exemplifying the grandeur of British public buildings. The hall's skirting boards and architraves are particularly fine examples of Victorian-era craftsmanship, showcasing the attention to detail that characterised this period of British design.

The Evolution of British Interior Trims and Mouldings

The history of British interior trims and mouldings is a fascinating journey through architectural styles and craftsmanship techniques. From the Tudor period to the present day, these decorative elements have played a crucial role in defining the character of British interiors.

  • Tudor Period (1485-1603): Characterised by ornate wood panelling and intricate plasterwork ceilings.
  • Jacobean Era (1603-1625): Saw the introduction of more elaborate skirting boards and cornices.
  • Georgian Period (1714-1837): Known for its symmetry and proportion, with refined architraves and elegant ceiling roses.
  • Victorian Era (1837-1901): Featured ornate plasterwork and detailed wood carvings in trims and mouldings.
  • Modern Era (20th century onwards): Combines traditional techniques with contemporary designs, often showcasing a mix of periods in restored buildings.


The interior trims and mouldings of iconic British buildings are not merely decorative elements; they are a testament to the rich architectural heritage of the United Kingdom. From the ornate plasterwork of Blenheim Palace to the intricate wood carvings of the Palace of Westminster, these features tell the story of British craftsmanship and design evolution over centuries.

As we continue to appreciate and preserve these architectural marvels, we ensure that future generations can experience the grandeur and artistry of British interior design. The skirting boards, architraves, cornices, and other decorative elements serve as a bridge between past and present, connecting us to the skilled artisans and visionary designers who shaped Britain's architectural landscape.

Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates fine craftsmanship, the interior trims and mouldings of Britain's iconic buildings offer an endless source of inspiration and admiration. They stand as a proud reminder of the nation's commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and the enduring legacy of British design.

Further Reading and Resources