Queen Elizabeth's Walk; North Side
Odd Numbers from N° 87
This is a terrace of two-storey houses with three-sided bays. They are built in yellow stock brick with decorative courses of red brick and red brick corners. The roof pitch is very steep as if it rains harder on this side of the street. The long rafters give space for an attic room in the peak. The roof is in slate probably brought from Wales by sea, up the Thames and Lea without ever touching a road. The red ridge tiles complement the bands of red brick below.
The double storey bays have a corner pattern of square based pyramids. Above, are flowered capitals which do not seem to match. London is full of houses like this. The builders chose pillars and capitals from catalogues and took what was available, so this sort of miss-match is common.
Party walls between the houses extend upward above the roof. This was one of the Fire of London Building Regulations designed to stop fire from spreading sideways from one house to the next.
The original cast iron drain pipes were square and attractive, but most have been replaced as they have cracked or rusted away.
The front door is approached by a flight of steps, so there is room for a shallow cellar. This is a coal cellar, not a storage for things that have to be kept dry. There is no basement either.
If you compare these houses with those in Park Crescent, the difference is clear. Park Crescent is built on Brickearth and Gravel, which drain well. The houses have basements. Queen Elizabeth's Walk is on the London Clay, which holds water. Cellars here would become lakes. The earlier builders chose to build on gravel, which gives better foundations and their houses could include basements. They advertised their houses as 'Built on Healthy Gravel'. When all the gravel had been built on, the builders had to change their design and lift the wooden floors well above the clay. Even so, Dry Rot, which flourishes in wet conditions, became widespread.
Hutching & Crowsley
|Queen Elizabeth's Walk; Even numbers from 92|