Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Shopkeepers' Houses

The Burtons conceived St Leonards as a self-contained community, with grand houses, churches, a hotel, an assembly rooms (later used as a Masonic Temple) and a service area known as Mercatoria. Houses for the washerwomen who kept the costumes of the posh folk all fresh and crisp were grouped around an open space known as Lavatoria Square. For some reason this name is no longer in use.

Nothing is shoddy or ill-designed. The picture shows terraced houses in Mercatoria, intended for people of the shopkeeper class. They're 'umble of course, but decent and beautifully proportioned.

The Burtons also built vast tracts of the West End of London- and St Leonards- with its grand neo-classical buildings, its parks, its back streets and mews- looks a lot like the classier parts of Victorian London- only quieter. So far as I know St Leonards has never been used as a film set for a Dickens or Trollope adaption- an omission that can only be explained by the film makers not knowing it exists.
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