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Brickfields Homes through time
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Georgian Homes

 
The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed 13,200 homes. Afterwards an act of parliament was passed to ensure new homes were made from fire resistant materials, such as bricks and slate.

Windows changed during this time, sash windows that slid up and down became popular, replacing the casement windows of Tudor times. However there was a heavy tax on windows at this time, as England needed money for war. People were not very happy about the tax and it gave rise to the phrase ‘daylight robbery’, meaning something which is a rip off. The number of windows you had was a sign of your wealth - poor people often only had one window per floor. Even today in some old houses from this time you can see a window that has been bricked up to avoid the tax; it was probably in a servant’s room.

Poor people would have lived in timber or brick houses with one or two rooms on each floor. Sometimes they would work in a room upstairs or another family would live there. People had hardly any furniture; a trunk or chest, some bedding, a chair or stool and perhaps a small table. There was no running water or proper drainage and to make matters worse for the poor, builders often used shoddy materials and cut corners when building homes, so they could be dangerous too.

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A Georgain gentlemen's residence, Clapton Common, Hackney.
A Georgian gentlemen's residence, Clapton Common, Hackney.


A Georgian house with a bricked up window, in Lower Clapton Hackney.
A Georgian house with a bricked up window, in Lower Clapton Hackney.
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