Terraced Houses in Leicester

Like many cities in Britain, Leicester's population grew dramatically in the 19th century. Cheap housing was needed for the poorly paid workers who were coming to the increasing number of factories in the town. However, until the second half of the century, when effective bye-laws and public acts stipulated how houses and streets should be constructed, there was little control of building.
Housing around Victoria Street 1950s
Housing around Havelock St 1950s
As a result, streets could be narrow and houses could be packed together tightly, often tucked in behind other houses as these photos show. Toilet blocks and wash-houses are mixed together with small houses behind the main row of houses.
However, there was land around Leicester which could be developed (unlike at Nottingham where land only became available after 1845) and overcrowding wasn't generally as bad as in most towns. Conditions in the poorest areas were very bad though, as described in the reports by the Unitarian Domestic Missionary, Joseph Dare.
Housing at Pentonville 1950s
Bonners Lane, backing onto Pentonville 1950s
There were Public Health Acts in 1848 and 1858, and by 1859 Leicester's bye-laws stated minimum standards for rooms, windows, space around the house, drainage etc., and generally (though not always) these regulations were observed by developers.
Variations on the front
Brick/stone bands
Boot scrapers
At the back
Further Reading
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