Back in Time: They look pretty but cottages were declared slums

Whitehall Street in 1915, and, below, as it is today

Whitehall Street in 1915, and, below, as it is today

  • by Karl Vaughan

This is Whitehall Street in Aylesbury about a century ago.

On the right are some Victorian town houses that should be familiar as they survive to this day, although they now look out onto a busy Oxford Road. On the opposite side of the street are a number of cottages that are seldom seen in photographs.

In fact when I acquired this photograph it was the first time I had ever seen them.

The cottages were small and some were very old indeed. One in particular that indicates great antiquity is the gable-ended one with its upper floor projecting over the lower - this is called a jetty and was a feature of Tudor buildings.

An example of this construction can be seen in Pebble Lane on the side of the Rockwood pub.

In 1925 many of these cottages were declared slums by the council and were demolished along with various others at the rear in Whitehall Court, Whitehall Row and Spring Gardens.

The occupants of these cottages were moved to Southcourt and some new houses along Oxford Road.




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