Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Little Streets

Hers is an interesting photo taken from the Gables Tower at the time the "Little Streets" were being demolished. It's a valuable record because there are not many visual records surviving of this part of Wolverton.

These houses were built between 1840 and 1848 and represent the second phase of Wolverton's development.  By late 19th and 20th century standards the houses were very small and this is probably why they were called the "little streets", but by the standards of the 1840s they were considered good. The Creed Street terrace of 20 cottages and the equivalent side of Glyn Square were built with two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs with a lean-to scullery at the back. The scullery was usually used for washing and cleaning but in the 20th century they were usually fitted up with a gas cooker. In between these two terrace was the northern section of Ledsam Street, with smaller units that rented out for less money. The southern end of Ledsam Street and Young Street was built a few years later and were slightly better quality than the earlier ones.

I have overlaid this photo with the street names.

In the foreground you can see the roof of the "Tank House" being dismantled. This originally supported a water tank and from the mid 1850s housed the public baths. In the 1890s it was converted into a residence for the schoolmaster and new public baths were built on the Stratford Road.

On the right hand side, the house in the foreground was known in my days as "Stable Cottage", I think. I may be wrong about this. To the right of the picture are the buildings from the second station and refreshment rooms. After 1881 it became a Goods Depot. This may still have been the case at the time of this photo.

In the distance you can see the works buildings - most of which have been pulled down for the Tesco car park and redeveloped as the Tesco Supermarket.
McConnell Drive follows the line of the railway, under the Stratford Road bridge, top right.

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