Window shutters which rise and fall like sash windows.
Southern Road, circa 1853.

The windows are sliding sashes and the ground floor ones in the main rooms have a most unusual feature. Many houses of this period had shutters which folded back across the windows internally, as security against burglars. These ones do not hinge, but slide. Internally, each window has two counterweighted wooden shutters which rise and fall like sash windows. The sill of the window hinges upwards to reveal the top edges of the shutters, which are then raised into place at night for security and warmth. The shutters are housed in the increased wall thickness aid, instead of lath and plaster, the 'apron' below the window has a removable timber panel for access to the shutter guides and weights.

In 1873, plans were submitted under a new public health act for a water closet to be added at the rear of the house, with access externally, and for the drain run to connect it with the new sewer in Southern Road. Later a larder with slate shelves (now a utility room) was added alongside.

This is an extremely interesting area to walk round because of the great variety of house styles. Hardly two houses are in the same period. Brick types, roofs, porches, all vary according to the fashion of the period when they were built and the whims of the particular builder. Years later, in 1936, Shakespeare Villa was demolished and the half-timbered houses of Shakespeare Gardens were built on its grounds. At the same time Billy Collins was building the Neo-Georgian houses at the top of Eastern Road, on the old greenhouses where I used to watch men taking geranium cuttings. Houses spanning more than eighty years can be found in these 'compass' streets and, with modern additions, people have been building here for nearly a century and a half, creating a charming jumble.

 

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