Terraced houses boast a captivating and rich history that dates back to the late 1600s in the UK. Architecturally, they consist of symmetrical houses connected by shared side walls, offering a one-of-a-kind sense of community.
Interestingly, the concept of terraced houses was first introduced by the French in the early 17th century, particularly in the Le Marais district of Paris. However, it was later brought to London after the Great Fire of 1666 by Monsieur Barbon, who constructed these houses near St. Paul's Cathedral during the city's rebuilding phase.
During the 1730s, the popularity of terraced houses surged in London and Bath, and iconic structures such as the magnificent Royal Crescent were built. This surge in construction was primarily driven by the Industrial Revolution, which led to a significant influx of people into urban areas in search of employment. Terraced houses provided a viable solution to the growing housing demand, offering decent and habitable accommodation while also offering an escape from the slums.
Victorian terraced houses were known for their standardized designs. Typically, they featured a "posh" front room reserved for special occasions, a back reception room where the family spent their daily lives, and an adjacent scullery for washing pots and carrying out household chores.
Some terraced houses even featured an outdoor toilet located in the rear yard. Upstairs, you would find two spacious bedrooms, along with a smaller third bedroom or nursery accessible through the second.
It's worth mentioning that in 1875, the Public Health Act introduced regulations for terraced houses to improve the living conditions of residents. These regulations mandated that each house have at least 108 square feet of livable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet/privy, and rear access for waste collection. These standards were established at a time when public sewers were not easily accessible.
As time went on, terraced houses underwent various modifications to meet evolving needs and standards. In the 1960s and 70s, indoor bathrooms and toilets were added, often by utilizing the third bedroom or extending the scullery on the ground floor. In the 1980s, gas central heating became prevalent, and traditional windows were gradually replaced with uPVC double glazing.
Even in recent times, terraced houses continue to be constructed, often marketed as "townhouses." These multi-storey structures offer modern amenities while still maintaining the charm and character of traditional terraced houses.
The humble terraced townhouse never seems to go out of fashion!
Terraced houses often go unnoticed by buyers, despite offering flexible and sizeable accommodation. It's time to shed light on the untold story of these charming homes. If you're thinking of selling your terraced house and want to ensure you get the best price, look no further. As an experienced estate agent specialising in these properties, I’m here to offer you expert advice tailored to your needs.
Remember to consider the potential of the terraced house
These properties have a rich architectural history and have provided significantly more habitable accommodation for generations. From the standard Victorian design with its distinct rooms and rear yard to the modern-day improvements of indoor facilities and central heating, from the second coming of the terraced house in the last 50 years with the ‘townhouse’, terraced houses have continually evolved to meet the needs of their residents.
In conclusion, the history and evolution of terraced houses offer a glimpse into the architectural and social developments of different eras. From their origins as a response to urbanisation and industrialisation to their continued relevance in contemporary construction, terraced houses remain an integral part of our built environment.