Monday, 17 January 2011
In and around this suburban sidestreet, there is an unusual collection of mid-Victorian houses, mostly in semi-detached pairs. They were built as show houses for the Great Exhibition of 1851 but the area was still green fields because the nearest station, Clapham Junction would not open for another twelve years. So how did people get there to see the show houses? Either by omnibus or in their own carriages. This suggests that the potential market for these house were prosperous merchants who could afford to live on the healthier edge of London.
The houses feature the latest styles: Gothic gables, Flemish gables and windows arranged in pairs in the Italian Rennaissance style as well as the established classical. They are mostly arranged as semi-detached villas with their front doors at opposite sides to give a greater sense of privacy. Most of them were built with half-basements and all of them include the latest feature: the bay window.
Illustrated (above) semi-detached pair with Gothic gables, bay windows and windows arranged in pairs in the Italian Rennaissance style.