Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Jane Hills


I'm always learning something new as I look out for interesting subjects for this blog. I've passed these cottages daily for several years, as they're very close to where I work.  They are right on the canalside (I was standing on the towpath to take this photo) but I hadn't known until I visited the exhibition on the Kennet (see yesterday) that at one time some of these properties were lived in by boatmen who worked on the canal.  The working boats' trips were short enough that the boatmen didn't need to live permanently on board, so they and their families tended to live beside the canal, many of them in places like Burscough in Lancashire.

The three oldest cottages here date back to 1796 and were originally two homes with a textile workshop attached.  Wool would have been loaded in directly from the canalside through a door on the gable-end, now blocked up.  Other buildings were added in the mid-19th century.  Before Saltaire was built the buildings would have been quite isolated in a rural setting.  Salts Mill is about a quarter of a mile up the canal.

One of the cottages is currently for sale but the estate agent's details don't tell you how old and historic the property is (it is Grade II listed) ...  and nor does it mention some other important details about the site....

14 comments:

  1. How interesting, Jenny. I wonder what the asking price is for the cottage that's up for sale? It must be quite something living in a place with so much history. I wonder whether the new owners would be allowed to modernise the interior?

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  2. Oops! Apologies, Jenny...I see the price is listed on the agent's site. I'm clearly not using my eyes fully!

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  3. Beautiful cottages, I am only surprised that they don't have the traditional long "weavers' windows".

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  4. It must be fabulous to live in a place which has such an interesting history!i'd like to see how the inside is..

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  5. Built in 1796 ... our country had only been settled 8 years then.
    Hard for us in our very young country to fully appreciate the great depth of history you have.

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  6. These buildings have so much character and look very well maintained. Interesting history.

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  7. What a beautiful cottage, I love to see these English once, in Belgium they have another building style, so even old cottages look different. Not so romantic I would say !

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  8. It does look attractive (especially in the sunshine) and the location is fantastic, but the rooms don't look very big and at £150,000...

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  9. A lovely plant on the wall too. What is it? On the left, are those coal sheds? or covers for the rubbish bins?

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  10. M&H - at one time those sheds would probably have been the outside toilets. Now used for storage I guess.

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  11. Charming! But what is the English definition of cottage? Over here (USA) a cottage is generally a small, but free standing house.

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  12. Interesting that you say the Leeds Liverpool had mainly day boats. Around the Midlands most of the boatmen lived on board because they did long-haul trips (London Leeds via Birmingham for example) that would take several days at an average four miles an hour) There are a few canal houses on the banks of the BCN (Birmingham Canal Network, basically Wolverhampton to Dudley to Walsall and back to Brum through Smethwick)but they were mainly for the banksmen and the lock keepers.

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  13. They have such character and your picture is like out of a picture book. It is sad to see what is happening in your next post.

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  14. Juat seen this and wanted to post a comment! For many years my aunt used to live at number 11 Jane Hills. Tiny cottage, 2 rooms downstairs and no bathroom - there were outside toilets and cellars in the yard at the back. Very cosy cottage though!

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