Call me old fashioned, but I do like the terraced house. In fact, I have done some research that I hope you will find of interest my Rotherham Property Blog reading friends!
In architectural terms, a terraced or townhouse is a style of housing, in use since the late 1600s in the UK, where a row of symmetrical / identical houses share their side walls. The first terraced houses were actually built by a French man, Monsieur Barbon around St. Paul’s Cathedral within the rebuilding process after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Interestingly, it was the French that invented the terraced house around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris with its planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was the 1730s in the UK, that the terraced/townhouse came into its own in London. The impressive Royal Crescent in Bath was built at a similar time.
However, we are in Rotherham not Bath.
The majority of our Rotherham terraced houses were built in the Victorian era. Built on the back of the Industrial Revolution, with people flooding into the towns and cities for work in Victorian times, the terraced house offered decent livable accommodation away from the slums. An interesting fact is that the majority of Victorian Rotherham terraced houses are based on standard design of a ‘posh’ front room, a back room (where the family lived day to day) and scullery off that. Off the scullery is a door to a rear yard, whilst upstairs there is usually three bedrooms (the third straight off the second). Interestingly, the law was changed in 1875 with the Public Health Act and each house had to have 108ft of livable space per main room, running water, it’s own outside toilet and rear access to allow the toilet waste to be collected (they didn’t have public sewers in those days in Rotherham – well not at least where these ‘workers’ terraced houses were built).
It was not until the 1960s and 70s when inside toilets and bathrooms were installed (often in that third bedroom or an extension off the scullery). Gas central heating was added in the 1980s and replacement uPVC double glazing has been added ever since.
Looking at the make up of all the properties in Rotherham, some very interesting numbers appear. Of the 47,601 properties in Rotherham:
- 7,916 are Detached properties (16.6%)
- 23,312 are Semi Detached properties (48.6%)
- 9,303 are Terraced / Town House properties (19.5%)
- 7,246 are Apartment / Flats (15.2%)
And quite noteworthy, there are 4 mobile homes, representing 0.01% of all property in Rotherham.
When it comes to values, the average price paid for a Rotherham terraced house in 1995 was £25,980 and the latest set of figures released by the land Registry states that today that figure stands at £71,410, a rise of 175% – that’s not bad at all is it. But then a lot of buy-to-let landlords and first time buyers I speak to think the Victorian terraced house is expensive to maintain.
However, I recently read a report from English Heritage that stated maintaining a typical Victorian terraced house over thirty years is around 60% cheaper than building and maintaining a modern house – quite fascinating don’t you think?!