Terraced Houses in Leicester

At the back
Many people in Leicester have memories of having to share their outside toilet, often located in a shared yard at the back of the house, with their neighbours. Before water flushed our waste away someone had to come and remove it, so access to the back yard was needed.
Back yard on Lower Grove Street
Entrance to passage, Hamilton Street
A common arrangement is a passage running between the houses which then leads to two or more back yards. From the 1880s this was often just two yards, with the doors at angles as shown below.
Passage on Connaught Street Doors on St Albans Road
The alley shown on the right, which runs behind the houses, is also common in Leicester. Less usual are passages which run from one street to another (below) or which are quite wide and service terraces facing separate streets (below right).
Alley on Montague Road
Passage on Chandos Street
Passage on Ingle Street
Alley on Woodbine Avenue
Putting an extension on the back of a house is a way of adding more rooms without increasing the width of the house. At first these extensions were fairly ad hoc. When houses became left and right handed they could share back extensions, which created more space and light at the back, so from the 1850s things became more symmetrical at the back.
Back extension on St Leonards Road
Toilet block on Woodbine Avenue
Larger houses may have extensions on their extensions, but small houses generally just have one room on top of another, and then perhaps outside sheds which were once a WC and coalshed.
As well as WCs and coalsheds, there are also workshops and a variety of sheds, stores etc. behind terraces (below left).
Entrance to back yard on Wood Hill
Below left shows the entrance to Cecil Gardens, small allotments which are tucked in behind the houses. Six houses once stood on this land and when they were demolished the area was used as a playground, and now as allotments for local residents.
Entrance to Cecil Gardens
Cecil Gardens
Home
Background
Developments
Streets
Variations on the front
Roofs
Eaves
Plaques
Brick/stone bands
Lintels
Windows
Doors
Boot scrapers
At the back
Further Reading

 

[Contents][University Home] [East Midland Oral History Archive Home Page] [contact the East Midland Oral History Project]