Iron lacework and lace balustrades are distinctive features on terrace homes typically found in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston and Sydney.

Very common in Melbourne, these terrace homes are based on the housing design style prevalent in England and consist of a row of houses separated by dividing walls. Light and airflow is only available through the front and rear doors unless one lived in an end terrace home. Dividing walls were generally made of stone or brick, and had to be of a certain thickness to prevent fire.

Completely uniform in design, terrace houses are distinguished by superimposed features such as the patterns of the cast iron architecture. Verandas on the early Melbourne terrace homes abutted into the street with a small garden area in the front. Very few terrace homes were built after 1920 as councils including Melbourne prohibited their construction.

However, terrace homes did provide very economical accommodation at one time, and today are very fashionable as townhouses. It is very difficult to find the true age of many of these terrace homes. While some have the build date recorded in the pediment, others don’t have records. One cannot use the date of registration of the lacework and balustrade as a true reference as some of these designs were registered many years after being first manufactured.

Researching information on terrace homes including the designs of the lace balustrades and iron lacework is not as difficult in other areas including Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart or Launceston.

Chatterton Lacework  is a specialist provider of wrought iron products in Australia.