Model Dwellings in Church Street

Photo:Model Dwellings

Model Dwellings

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

A Mid-Victorian housing development

By Peter Crowhurst, North Laine resident

This block of flats, built in about 1852, was an attempt to provide improved housing for the poor at a time when there was increasing concern about the quality of housing and the prevalence of disease.

The work of he Peabody Trust

In London the Peabody Trust and other charities established homes for up to 150,000 and those behind the movement claimed it was possible to provide good quality housing at a reasonable profit. Tenants were provided with more space than their contemporaries, at a better rent and with better facilities (eg cooking range with water heaters, ventilated larders and sinks with draining boards).

However, the Model Dwellings movement did not catch on, for even though it was claimed it was possible to provide a 5% return on investment, this was not enough for many landlords.

A marked contrast to nearby courtyard dwellings

The Model Dwellings at the corner of Church Street and Jew Street are a fine example of an apartment block built in the mid-Victorian period and must have made a vivid contrast to the courtyard dwellings opposite in Preece's Buildings.

This page was added on 11/03/2008.

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