The History of Plantation Shutters

People have selected Plantation shutters for their windows for centuries mainly because of the added security and storm protection they provide. The louvre or plantation shutter was a development to allow greater flexibility and light control compared to solid shutters. Wooden shutters are seen all over the world in almost every type of property.

Plantation Shutters are durable, have a timeless classic style, and are virtually maintenance free.

The origins

The exact historical origins of wooden window shutters is difficult to determine but it's believed that they originated from ancient Greece. These first shutters were more than likely made with fixed louvre's made from marble. Shutter use spread throughout the Mediterranean and wood started to replace the marble. The moveable louvre's came later to provide varying amounts of light and air.

Shutters generally perform four functions; admitting light and ventilation with added privacy and security. Louvre shutters can be closed to minimize heat from the sun and simultaneously allow for ventilation and privacy when needed.

Glass Windows

By Tudor and Elizabethan times, glass windows started to be used, but they were very expensive, therefore reserved for the upper half of window openings. Solid shutters below the sash, windows remained closed with solid shutters. Hinged glazed sashes started replacing the solid shutters in the 15th century. After that point, interior shutters were increasingly used as decoration in homes rather than strictly functional purposes. Woodwork like window shutters and moldings became the main decorative elements in smaller houses in early 18th century England.

As the Spanish started colonising in the Americas, they brought shutters to the New World. Decadent mansions in the South used shutters, and the term "plantation shutters" is derived from this area. Plantation shutters on cotton and sugar plantations usually had wider louvers than shutters used earlier, and they were almost always painted white .

Traditional Shutters

Traditional shutters often found in the New England states trace their roots to England, where the narrower louvre's was used. Often café type shutters mimic the original use of shutters on the bottom portion of windows before glass was affordable.

As wood construction started to be used for houses in the Victorian period, people started using shutters outdoors. The stone and brick houses built previously had deeply recessed windows that prohibited the use of exterior shutters because they would be unreachable from the inside. However, the thinner wooden walls allowed indoor access to exterior shutters.

You no longer need to be a sugar or cotton baron to have your own plantation shutters today. Shutter Master can provide you with custom made wooden shutters at an affordable price.

For more information or a price quote Call us on 0845 459 0363