The corner of Bell Street and Manning Street (now Penfold Street) is in a completely different style. Its Victorian Gothic, with pointed gables and in a nondescript brown brick which was possibly baked in the Notting Dale brickyards, it is very similar to Christchurch Parish Hall in Shrotton Street .

By the 1991 census there were 84 people living in the 'buildings behind Bell Street' and about 30 in Bowman's Buildings.

The Miles buildings are large, purpose built blocks of flats with asphalted playing and clothes drying areas between the blocks. They were massive Italianate buildings, impressive, solidly built but the space is mean, which reflected the cost of land and how little they had to spend. This was an attempt to get roomy flats on a restricted site, in order to keep the rents down. Cottage building, which Octavia Hill went in for in Ranston Street , took up far more space per household. Put Miles Buildings in a piece of park land and they would look at home. Here they were cramped for space.

The rents were low, though almost no profit was made on them, but even these few shillings were too much for those who had no regular jobs. On Booth's map the blocks are marked 'Poverty and Comfort Mixed' which he defines as 'people with small, regular earnings' . There were three grades of poverty lower than this and they could not have afforded the rents. Nor had they the regular income to pay every week.

Portman Buildings, Lisson Grove,
The Builder, Dec. 24, 1887

Artisans' Dwellings, Motion Grove. The Artisans', Labourers', and General Dwellings Company, whose houses of the cottage type at Shaftesbury Park (Clapham Junction), Queen's Park (Harrow-road), and Noel Park, Tottenham are well known, are taking a new departure in the erection of Dwellings in flats. This, the Company's first experiment of the kind, consists of large buildings !n Lisson grove providing accommodation for 250 families, the tenements being mostly of two or three rooms each, though there are single-roomed tenements and four-roomed tenements. The buildings are being carried out by the Company, from plans by Mr. F. T. Pilkington, architect, Mr. Were being the managing foremen on behalf of the Company. The buildings are solid and substantial, with the principal facades of red brick and moulded concrete the general architectural effect being more elaborate and less monotonous than that of most blocks of buildings of the kind. The concrete dressings, trusses, copings, &c., also the concrete steps of stairs, flue-blocks, end partition walls (3-inch. slabs reinforced with iron) have all been made in situ. The iron girders &c., have been supplied by Messrs. Measures Brothers, and the flat roofs have been covered with asphalte by the French Asphalte Company (Limited), of Cornhill in an admirable manner. We may possibly have more to say of these dwellings later on.

In 2010 similar pink concrete details can still be seen in another Artizan's Building at the corner of Grays Inn Road and Rosebery Avenue . The façade has been retained but almost all the rest of the building has been demolished and a new one built behind. However the pink cast concrete decorations, identical with the Lisson Grove ones illustrated here, can still be recognised.

 


Pink concrete decoration to a similar Artizan’s block
at the corner of Theobalds Road and Grays Inn Road
 which has now been restored.
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Updated February 6, 2012