BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to discover what made the terrace Britains home of choice and why they’re still as devoted to these houses as their first inhabitants were well over a century ago.”

This week’s programme examines the development of the terraced house in the Liverpool district of Toxteth during the 19th century. As the city grew as a port, its population expanded both with the rural exodus and the influx of Irish migrants fleeing the potato famine.

On Youtube here The Terrace

In Liverpool the work of Dr William Duncan highlighted the poor sanitary conditions experienced by many living in cellar dwellings and the town’s infamous court houses packed close together.

The Victorians introduced housing standards resulting in the byelaw house, specifying minimum sized rooms, layout, light and ventilation.

A Welshman by the name of Richard Owens was responsible for the development of Toxteth housing in the second half of the C19th, using Welsh labour, Welsh slate from Dinorwic and red bricks from the Ruabon works near Wrexham.

Is it any wonder that today the area is known as the Welsh streets?

In the Postwar period trade through the extensive docks declined with the concomitant effect on the city, and the programme examines the effects in the short and long term this had on the residents.

The second of this three part series will be broadcast at 2100 on BBC4 on Thursday 26th May.

Leave a Reply