Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Now and Then


‘Modern houses they all look the same’ a popular perception


And old ones?



I couldn’t date this terrace, can any one help?


I’m teetering on the edge of a migraine, I think I’ll go and lie down. Stay cool.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

16 thoughts on “Now and Then

  1. I’ve been curious for quite some time about the abundance of attached houses in the UK and the scarcity of same in the US. Certain old urban centers will have brownstones or apartments that are attached, but most homes are very detached.

  2. I’ve been curious for quite some time about the abundance of attached houses in the UK and the scarcity of same in the US. Certain old urban centers will have brownstones or apartments that are attached, but most homes are very detached.

    Hope your head feels better soon.

    • I imagine it was to do with greater pressure on land prices. The mill owners would have funded both the need for houses and the money to build them ( and went on to collect the rents from his workers as well… and they would have bought food from the shops that he owned, everything was well ‘stitched up’ apt for the land of textile mills! ) He would have wanted as many workers to live near the mill as possible.

      • As well as the not inconsiderable land costs to the employers building workers’ accommodation (after all, they also skimped on surplus grounds; no front area, a small yard and a shared privy was common) is the material and building costs. A terrace of say 10 houses has 2 outside side walls and 9 interior (potentially thinner) side walls, a row of 10 semi-detached houses has 10 outside side walls and 5 interior side walls but a row of 10 detached houses has to have 20 outside side walls. Guttering, side windows, fencing etc. all mount up and if you’re penny pinching, after all these are only bottom rung workers, then you might as well penny pinch everywhere.

  3. Seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Interesting photos of two different eras.

  4. Hi. Unsure how much it matters, but if it’s given you a headache… this website’s quite interesting about this sort of thing

    I’d say about 1880’s, may be slightly earlier.

  5. I’m fascinated by the roof(s) of the terrace (second photo). The slates seem to be laid in horizontal courses, yet the edges of the roofs are parallel with the ground. I’ll have to have a look at them more carefully to see how it’s done next time I’m passing.

  6. I would guess mid to late victorian – it’s hard to tell with those mass produced terraces.

    I also quite like the way they were able to produce deliberately wonky roofs, can’t say I’d expect to see it these days. Mr UHDD should come up here and have a look at some roofs with dimishing courses – they are impressive.

    I think that the “all the same” tag comes from the fact that so many housing estates were built with broadly similar (slightly) detached houses, but without the rhythm and uniformity of the older terraces. LC20 developers seemed to try to add a little individuality through small changes to the trim, brick colours etc – but we can still see that the houses are essentially all the same.

    C19 developers just built them all the same and didn’t waste money on fripperies and worrying about the sale market. And somehow, as the men who built Bath knew, this is more pleasing to the eye.

    • There is something about the rhythm that I like, I can think of a red brick terrace in Stockport that is beautiful in the light of dawn, but not beautiful enough to get me to drive the A6 at some un-Godly hour in the morning to bring it to this blog.
      It was a long time before I even noticed diminishing courses, some how the eye makes compensations. Of course in Scotland you have the lovely ‘crow-step’ gables Sadly there is less regional variation in the style of new builds, so in that sense there are ‘very much of a muchness’

      • This is the key to it – it’s not so much that modern houses in a given estate look all the same – it’s more that, wherever you go, they all look the same, the regional differences are disappearing and it’s just the same decorated brick boxes whether you’re in Lerwick or Lewes.

  7. It would be interesting to see how well the row housing built in the 20th century holds up in comparison with terraces from the 19th.

    And at last we see what it takes to get Mr. UHDD to comment on these pages. Roof slates! Worthy comment, too. Now he’s got me thinking about the arrangement. Think I’ll go have a nap.

    • You just have to press the right buttons!
      We will be having our house re- roofed soon, slates are on his mind.
      Looking at the old terrace you can’t help but think they were very nifty at the calculations, a curved terrace, on a sloping site, all with out the aid of a calculator.

  8. Unusual with the roofs being angled following the pavement/road but its more common than you think. Whilst travelling around the country ive seen this a few times in different places.
    A new housing estate near me has gone back to terraced houses which is partly due to he credit crunch.

  9. Interesting look at the old and new. Perhaps it’s true what they say about the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Hope you’re feeling better by now.

  10. 1890’s and have you tried those cool gel things that go on your head?

    • A cool gel thing sounds just right, I must investigate; certainly paracetamol was not up to the task.
      I’m going to have to find the mill to go with the cottages the next time I’m out that way.

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