August 16, 2023


The untold story of terraced houses


The untold story of Hemel Hempstead’s terraced houses

We’ve conducted some research that fellow readers of the Castles Property Blog will find intriguing! All about the much loved terraced houses.

Architecturally speaking, the terraced or townhouse has been prevalent in the UK since the late 1600s. It involves a row of symmetrical houses that share side walls. The credit for the first terraced houses goes to Monsieur Barbon, a Frenchman who constructed them around St. Paul’s Cathedral during the rebuilding phase after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Interestingly, the French invented the terraced house concept around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris, featuring planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was during the 1730s that terraced houses truly flourished in London and, of course, in Bath with the magnificent Royal Crescent.

History of Hemel Hempstead terraced houses

Let’s focus on Hemel Hempstead and surrounding areas. Many of our terraced houses in Hemel Hempstead were built during the Victorian era.

Terraced houses emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution, as people flocked to towns and cities for employment.

What was the layout of the historic terraced home?

Terraced houses provided decent, habitable accommodation, offering an escape from the slums.

Interestingly, most Hemel Hempstead Victorian terraced houses followed a standard design: a ‘posh’ front room for high days and holidays, a back reception room where the family resided daily, and a scullery attached to it (scullery – a small kitchen at the rear of a house used for washing pots and other dirty household work).

Off the scullery, there was a door leading to a rear yard where you would traditionally find the privy or outside toilet! There were two good sized bedrooms upstairs, with a smaller third bedroom, or nursery, accessed directly through the second.

Public Health Act 1875

Notably, in 1875, the Public Health Act mandated that each house should have 108 square feet of liveable space per main room, access to running water, an external toilet/privy and rear access for waste collection (as there were no public sewers in Hemel Hempstead at that time, at least not where these “workers'” terraced houses were built).

During the 1960s and 70s, an indoor WC and a bathroom were installed (often in that third bedroom or as a ground-floor extension of the scullery). In the 1980s, gas central heating became prevalent, and since then, there has been a continuous replacement of uPVC double glazing.

Two-storey terraced houses started to be built again in the 1960s, yet they were marketed as ‘townhouses’. Since the early 2000s, with the price of building land rising so quickly, new homes builders started to build three-storey townhouses.

The humble terraced/townhouse never seems to go out of fashion!

Looking at the makeup of all the Dacorum Council area properties, some fascinating numbers appear.

Of the 63,413 households in Dacorum …

  • 13,526 are detached properties
  • 15,876 are semi-detached properties
  • 18,918 are terraced/townhouse properties
  • 14,800 are apartments/flats

…the rest being made up of caravans and mobile homes.

Percentage of terraced homes

Next, looking at the percentage compared to the national picture is interesting.

  • 21.3% are detached properties (national average 26.1%)
  • 25.0% are semi-detached properties (national average 31.4%)
  • 29.8% are terraced/townhouse properties (national average 22.5%)
  • 23.9% are apartments/flats (national average 20.1%)

How has the Hemel Hempstead terraced house risen in price?

The average price for a Hemel Hempstead terraced house in spring 1995 was £72,707. Today, that figure stands at £383,441, a rise of 427%. Interesting, when you consider the overall average in Hemel Hempstead during the same time frame has risen by 531%.

Terraced houses in Hemel Hempstead often go unnoticed by buyers, despite offering flexible and sizeable accommodation. It’s time to shed light on the untold story of these charming homes.

If you’re thinking of selling your terraced house and want to ensure you get the best price, look no further. As an experienced estate agent specialising in Hemel Hempstead properties, we’re here to offer you expert advice tailored to your needs.

Remember to consider the potential of the terraced house.

These properties have a rich architectural history and have provided significantly more habitable accommodation for generations. From the standard Victorian design with its distinct rooms and rear yard to the modern-day improvements of indoor facilities and central heating, from the second coming of the terraced house in the last 50 years with the ‘townhouse’, Hemel Hempstead’s terraced houses have continually evolved to meet the needs of their residents.

If you’re ready to sell your terraced house and want to maximise its value, contact your nearest Castles branch – we know exactly how to market your home at its best.

As a local Hemel Hempstead and Boxmoor estate agent, we deeply understand the property market. With our expertise and personalised guidance, we can navigate the selling process together, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact one of our four local estate agent branches in Castles Boxmoor / Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Eaton Bray or Kings Langley today to unlock the full potential of your terraced house and secure a successful sale!


Find out how much your home is worth?

Find out how much your property is worth today with our free valuation.

Expert valuation

Similar news

Why Are So Many Berkhamsted Homeowners Selling So Soon After Buying? Buying

Why Are So Many Berkhamsted Homeowners Selling So Soon After Buying?

Read article
UK property market continues to recover as buyer confidence and transactions build Buying

UK property market continues to recover as buyer confidence and transactions build

Read article
Berkhamsted’s Restless Homeowners: Buying

Berkhamsted’s Restless Homeowners:

Read article