Terraced houses boast a captivating and extensive history that traces back to the late 1600s in the UK. Structurally, they feature symmetrical houses adjoined by shared side walls, fostering a distinct sense of community.
Interestingly, it was the French who initially devised the concept of terraced houses in the early 17th century, particularly in the Le Marais district of Paris. Subsequently, the idea sailed across the English Channel and found its way to London following the Great Fire of 1666. During the city's reconstruction phase, Monsieur Barbon played a significant role by erecting terraced houses near St. Paul's Cathedral.
The 1730s witnessed an unprecedented surge in the popularity of terraced houses in London and Bath, highlighted by iconic structures like the magnificent Royal Crescent. These developments were directly influenced by the onset of the Industrial Revolution, prompting an influx of people into urban centers in pursuit of employment opportunities. Terraced houses emerged as a practical solution to the ever-growing housing demand, offering decent and livable accommodations that served as an escape from congested slum areas.
Victorian terraced houses, in particular, adhered to standardized design principles. Typically, they featured an elegant front room reserved for special occasions, a back reception room where the family spent their daily lives, and an attached scullery used for dishwashing and other household chores.
In some instances, terraced houses even incorporated an outdoor toilet situated in the rear yard. Moving upstairs, you would find two generously sized bedrooms along with a smaller third bedroom or nursery that could be accessed through the second.
It is important to note that the introduction of the Public Health Act in 1875 brought about regulatory measures for terraced houses. These regulations mandated that each dwelling had to provide a minimum of 108 square feet of habitable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet or privy, and rear access for waste disposal. Such regulations aimed to enhance the living conditions of residents, considering that public sewers were not readily available during that era.
Over time, terraced houses underwent various modifications to meet evolving needs and standards. In the 1960s and 70s, indoor bathrooms and toilets were integrated, often utilizing the third bedroom or extending the scullery on the ground floor. The 1980s saw the prevalence of gas central heating, while traditional windows gradually gave way to uPVC double glazing.
Even in recent times, terraced houses continue to be constructed, often marketed as "townhouses." These multi-story structures offer contemporary amenities without compromising the charm and character associated with 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.