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Earliest UK concrete houses?

Reading the local Parish magazine there is an excellent article by the local historian Rick Ozzard about houses made of concrete.

There doesn't sound much to interest one in the subject until one starts to consider where are the earliest ones. The little village of All Cannings in Wiltshire is in a very rural farming community with Black and White thatched cottages etc. It is probably the last place you would expect to have been the site of an amazing Victorian experiment in the use of Concrete.

In 1868 the Lord Ashburton and his tenant farmer Simon Hiscock decided to each build a pair of semidetached workers cottages. They had two plots adjacent of the same size. The tenant built his pair of brick, his Lordship of concrete - the only major difference is that in the absence of internal shuttering the concrete chimneys are straight rather than bent to combine into a single chimney stack. Both pairs of cottages still stand largely unaltered.

We can only surmise this was a trial into the efficacy of using shuttered reinforced concrete as a building method. It obviously was successful as two more pairs were then built, followed by a more elaborate villa style pair of cottages and finally a large Farmhouse.

This amazing experiment is unknown and unacknowledged outside the area. While these houses may not be the very first concrete houses built, they were built within a couple of years of the first one - the time-line is not clear and are certainly the biggest example of a group of dwellings built then. They are worthy of note!


Perhaps you should tell your local planning authority about them so that they can be listed?

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