A “Virtual” Tour of The Back to Backs – part 6



A Virtual Tour of the Back to Backs – part 6

Having seen the first six “back to backs” being built on Inge Street, in the 1830s John Wilmore cleared the nail maker & horse killer off his land and set about building five more houses on Hurst Street. Whilst these were each based on the same layout as other back to backs with all the doors & windows facing in the same direction, these did not have another house behind them. There was not sufficient space to allow any more to be built. They were called “blind backs” and very often, in other courts, these would be seen built against the wall of an adjacent factory. Our blind backs were unusual as most did have a door opening into the courtyard.

Finally, with the objective of making as much from his land as possible, John Wilmore built some workshops above the “brew’us”. These were rented to his tenants and would be termed “shopping” in later years by those given the responsibility of governing the provision of housing in the town.

But now we are going to meet the first of the families who lived in Court 15 during the two centuries that the houses were here.

We are going into house number 1 during the 1840s. In later years this would be called no 1 back of 50 Inge Street, or 1/50 Inge Street.

On our way through the doorway I’m going to invite you to take a look at the right side of the door frame as there is something there that will tell us a little about the family living here in the 1840s.

Please follow me!

The houses facing Hurst Street in 1953 – well before restoration


The Hurst Street side of court 15 after restoration – c2017


Panoramic view of the courtyard with the backs of the houses on Hurst Street in the centre
The Brew’us in the courtyard at 7 Cheapside, with “shopping” built over the top – just as it would have been in Court 15
The door to the first house that we are visiting in Court 15, viewed through the washing


The device attached to the doorway of the first house – do you know what it is called and what its significance is?