Terraced houses have a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the late 1600s in the UK. Architecturally, they consist of symmetrical houses with shared side walls, providing a unique sense of community.
Interestingly, terraced houses were actually invented by the French in the early 17th century, particularly in the Le Marais district of Paris. The concept then made its way to London after the Great Fire of 1666, when Monsieur Barbon constructed terraced houses near St. Paul's Cathedral during the city's rebuilding phase.
During the 1730s, the popularity of terraced houses soared in London and Bath, with iconic structures like the magnificent Royal Crescent. These developments were a direct response to the Industrial Revolution, as people migrated to urban areas in search of employment. Terraced houses offered a solution to the growing housing demand, providing decent and habitable accommodation that offered an escape from the slums.
Victorian terraced houses, in particular, followed a standardised design. They typically featured a "posh" front room for special occasions, a back reception room where the family resided daily, and a scullery attached to it. The scullery served as a small kitchen used for washing pots and carrying out other household chores.
Some terraced houses even had an outside 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 is worth noting that in 1875, the Public Health Act introduced regulations for terraced houses. Each house was required to have at least 108 square feet of liveable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet/privy, and rear access for waste collection. These regulations aimed to improve the living conditions of the residents, as public sewers were not readily available at that time.
Over time, terraced houses underwent various modifications to meet changing needs and standards. In the 1960s and 70s, indoor bathrooms and toilets were added, often utilizing the third bedroom or extending the scullery on the ground floor. Gas central heating became prevalent in the 1980s, and uPVC double glazing gradually replaced older windows.
Even in recent times, terraced houses continue to be constructed, often marketed as "townhouses." These multi-storey structures provide 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.