Terraced Houses in Leicester

Court on Mansfield Street
Leicester has lost almost all the many 'courts' which were a feature of small terraced streets until quite recently. Passing from the street through a passage, tunnel, or jitty, the courts were found behind other houses.
However, behind King Street is what used to be Cramant's Yard. These are small cottages with one room on top of one room. Although they don't back on to other houses, there is no back door and these are very similar to 'back to back' housing.
Cottages in Cramants Yard
Cottage in Cramants Yard
Built in the 1820s, according to the 1841 census these cottages were home to 22 people, plus Hannah Cramant and her five children on King Street itself. By the 1980s they had fallen into a bad state of repair but were spruced up and turned into a bar, and are now a nursery.
At Cramant's Yard the houses are identical, with doors to the right of the windows. The housing in the next photos was built in the 1850s, and they are left and right handed - sharing the chimney stack and scullery wall is more economical.
Houses on Tower Street
House on West Street
The smallest housing needed to be cheap so that people could afford it. Typically, two storey houses would have two or four rooms while three storey houses would have three rooms. Roofs might be pitched low to save on materials, walls could be thin compared to later housing, there was little decoration.
Houses could have more than four rooms by building extensions on the back. As well as small houses, there was also higher class terraced housing. This was often embellished with decorative brickwork, tiles, plaques etc. Eventually, as materials became cheaper and average wages increased, smaller houses shared these features.
Houses on Severn Street
Houses on Hobart Street
In the 1870s and 1880s bay windows became popular as a way of letting more light into rooms. Often, older houses had bay windows added at this point.
Particularly from the 1880s onwards, the standard design of small 'artisan' house has a front door leading from the street into the front room (sometimes there is a hall) and there are usually three rooms on each floor, with an outside WC and coalshed.
Houses on Tudor Road
Houses on Gwendolen Road
In Leicester streets were often developed by several builders, maybe six houses at a time. This resulted in each street having a variety of decoration and design.
Although they have a back yard, small houses have never had much of a garden. Sometimes when they did, as in the King Richard's Road area, houses were built on them. However, from the 1880s in areas like Westcotes and Kimberley Road, small front gardens of around six feet were introduced.
Houses on Mill Hill Lane
Houses on Conway Road
By the turn of the century houses were being built with bay windows for both upstairs and downstairs front rooms. The last stylistic development was in the years leading up to the First World War, and can be seen on the left. The upstairs bay windows are on brackets. The upper half of the front is faced in roughcast rather than brick.
Variations on the front
Brick/stone bands
Boot scrapers
At the back
Further Reading


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