Based on childhood recollections
of working class family life in north London in Edwardian times.
116 Lopen Road on the Huxley Estate, Edmonton, 1911
My mother's family lived on a housing estate which
was typical of the Victorian terraced housing that popped up in previously
rural areas towards the end of the
19th century and at the beginning of the 20th. The estate happened to be the
large Huxley Estate in Edmonton [now reassigned as Enfield] on the northern
outskirts of London.
The houses were small, compact and terraced. There were of course larger
Victorian and Edwardian houses, but they tended to be individual or in small
blocks, like my father's family home in Pymmes
How the estate grew
On the Huxley Estate building started in the late 1800s and went on into the
Warwick Road and Sheldon Road were the first roads to be built. They are
shown on the 1894 Ordnance Survey map of the area which makes them genuinely
The house where my mother grew up was built a few years later and
was therefore Edwardian, but was in the same general style. The photo on the right is from 1911 and shows my mother
there with her two brothers. The address was 116 Lopen Road, Edmonton.
These terraced houses had no brick
foundations, but were built on wooden beams, about twelve inches
square. This was fine until the beams rotted, which I know for a fact happened
in Warwick Road!
If you, with your 21st century
norms, could be transported back to around 1911 to any one of the roads on this
or any other such typical estate, you would be hard pushed to tell the difference
between them. Not that the residents of the time would have seen things this
way: As each new road was built, the insides of the houses improved in facilities and finish.
The houses in the newer roads were offered to the better-off existing tenants
or their children. So a natural gradation in quality and social class took place
across the estate. Cheddington Road was either the last or one of the last to
be build and was considered more upmarket.
A typical road on a typical Victorian housing estate:
Warwick Road on the Huxley Estate in Edmonton [now Enfield], early 1900s.
Photo courtesy of Cliff Raven.
A more recent photograph of a road on a Victorian housing estate: Cheddington
Road on the Huxley Estate in Edmonton [now Enfield].
The most striking difference between the early 1900s photo of Warwick
Road and the more recent one on the left of Cheddington Road
is the number of cars - although, of course, the roads have moved with the times
in various other ways too.
I have not visited the estate since I was a child,
but I do remember that there were broadly similar Victorian-style terraces in adjacent roads.
This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in early to mid 20th century Britain, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times. It is © Pat Cryer.