Terraced houses boast a captivating and storied past that traces back to the late 1600s in the UK. From an architectural standpoint, they feature symmetrical houses with shared side walls, fostering a distinct sense of community.
It's intriguing to note that the inception of terraced houses can be attributed to the French during the early 17th century, particularly in the Le Marais district of Paris. Later on, this concept made its way to London following the Great Fire of 1666. Monsieur Barbon played a significant role in the city's phase of rebuilding as he constructed terraced houses near St. Paul's Cathedral.
During the 1730s, the popularity of terraced houses soared in London and Bath, giving rise to iconic structures like the majestic Royal Crescent. These developments proved to be an answer to the housing demands brought about by the Industrial Revolution, as urban areas saw an influx of people in search of employment. Terraced houses provided a viable solution, offering decent and habitable accommodation and serving as a reprieve from the cramped and unsanitary conditions prevalent in the slums.
Victorian terraced houses, in particular, adhered to a standardized design. They typically comprised a grand front room reserved for special occasions, a practical back reception room serving as the family's daily living space, and an adjacent scullery used for washing dishes and other household chores.
In some instances, terraced houses even featured an outdoor toilet located in the rear yard. Upstairs, you would find two generously-sized bedrooms along with a smaller third bedroom or nursery accessible through the second.
It's worth noting that a significant development occurred in 1875 with the introduction of the Public Health Act. This legislation mandated certain regulations for terraced houses, including a minimum of 108 square feet of livable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet or privy, and rear access for waste collection. These regulations aimed to improve the living conditions of residents, as public sewers were not as readily available during that time period.
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 utilizing the third bedroom or expanding the ground floor's scullery. The 1980s witnessed the prevalence of gas central heating, while older windows gradually gave way to uPVC double glazing.
Even in recent times, terraced houses continue to be constructed, often marketed as "townhouses." These multi-storey dwellings offer modern amenities while still preserving 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.