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  • Leicester Corporation built 201-247 Aylestone Road for the gas workers in 1878
  • The houses were designed by local architects Henry Shenton and Charles Baker
  • The weekly rent ranged from five shillings six pence, to seven shillings six pence

Cottages for the gas workers

The Gas Works operated 24 hours a day and so the workers needed to live close by. Leicester Corporation built 201-247 Aylestone Road for the gas workers in 1878. The 24, three-storey houses were the first council houses in Leicester. The houses were designed by local architects Henry Shenton and Charles Baker and
were built by Henry Howitt for £5,917. The weekly rent ranged from five shillings six pence, to seven shillings six pence.

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The Gas Manager's House

The Manager’s House

On the corner of Aylestone Road and Boundary Road, is the manager’s house. It was built furthest away from the entrance to the Gas Works, and is more private, with a high wall. The house is set back from the street and of a much more decorative design than the workers’ cottages. The chimneys have very decorative brickwork. It also had a large garden rather than just a back yard.

 

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Gas workers’ cottages and manager’s house, early 1980s

Comfortable accommodation

The cottages were of a high standard. They had an entrance hall, a front parlour, living room and three bedrooms upstairs. There was a scullery for laundry, washing dishes and boiling the water for bathing, and an outside toilet. Freemen’s Common with its orchards and allotments was nearby and the street was shaded by a row of trees. The superintendent’s house is number 201, next to the Gas Works. It is spacious and impressive compared to the workers’ houses.

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Area has been redeveloped

Gallery

Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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