Starter Homes 1830 style.
Thomas Hayward, who started out as a wheelwright, went into property development, and was Sutton’s first speculative builder. The population of Sutton was increasing rapidly in 1830, leading to a demand for new housing - speculative building was the answer. One of Hayward’s first ventures, in about 1830, was a terrace of six cottages for rent on the corner of The Parade and South Parade, where Burtons store now stands. Hayward died in 1848, a rich man.
The late William Bubb lived in one of these six cottages in 1920, and in 1984 he recalled how it was laid out. On the ground floor was a sitting room about 17 feet square, with a door opening directly onto the street and stairs to the two bedrooms above. The basement, with kitchen and pantries, was level with the garden at the back, owing to the slope of the land. There was no internal staircase to the basement, so to get to the kitchen it was necessary to go out of the front door and walk round and down the slope to the kitchen door. Across the gardens were the two wash-houses, each serving three cottages communally, with the toilets and drinking water supply. Each household would be assigned a specific weekday for the weekly wash; water for other uses than drinking was collected from the roof in a large butt outside the kitchen door.
Richard Holbeche, in his description of Sutton in the 1850s refers to the row of six cottages as “that hideous terrace” (it probably reminded him of the terraced housing of the industrial towns). The 1851 census shows that the six houses were occupied by respectable families. For Thomas Halbeard, the 27-year old attorney's clerk from Birmingham, with a nurse to help his young wife look after their baby daughter, his cottage was probably what we would term a starter home. Ann Holbeche was an elderly spinster living alone on her private income, and next to her lived Zachariah Twamley, the 78-year old retired miller, he had a housekeeper, and sufficient leisure to indulge in local history research - his manuscript history of Sutton is in the Library. The census does not indicate how the widow Sarah Lovatt maintained herself and her 16-year old son, but at the time of the 1851 census they had a visitor from Derbyshire who was a journeyman glazier. The other two householders were Thomas Hollis the 26-year old grocer with three infant children, and William Yates the 39-year old shoemaker with his wife, two young daughters and a servant.