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Off-shot kitchens in Sheffield terraced houses

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Were these built at the same time as the houses or were they later extensions?

 

On all those I've seen the brickwork or stonework always looks of a similar vintage, as if the kitchen might have been built at the same time as the main house. But on property programmes on TV they often say they were later additions.

 

i know they are not usually on any proper foundations and lack decent floors. So they do seem poorly-built, like a cheap afterthought.

 

But when I was looking for a terraced house I sought those with a little kitchen stuck on the back, rather than one where the single back room was a kitchen/diner. As well as an extra room it also means no neighbours have a right of way over your back yard (although you do over the one nextdoor!) and can fence it off properly.

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I grew up in Harrison Road, Malin Bridge and all the houses, certainly at the bottom end had off-shot kitchens and I'm sure that's how they were originally built. These houses were considered, at least by my mother, as a "step up" from those which had the back room as a kitchen. The former were classed villas. My Nan's house in Haden Street had the back room as the kitchen and the front room opened more or less straight on to the street, whereas the Harrison Road house had a decent front garden. Other differences were the location of the staircase (Harrison Road between front and back room; Haden street the stars went up from the kitchen), also the Harrison Road house had an attic so could be classed as 3 bedroomed.

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The ones I've seen have always been additions to the original house. I think the one on the property I owned in Walkley was a 1950/60's addition to a 1900 house. The original house didn't have a dining room, just a large dining kitchen from what I understand.

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Were these built at the same time as the houses or were they later extensions?

 

On all those I've seen the brickwork or stonework always looks of a similar vintage, as if the kitchen might have been built at the same time as the main house. But on property programmes on TV they often say they were later additions.

 

i know they are not usually on any proper foundations and lack decent floors. So they do seem poorly-built, like a cheap afterthought.

 

But when I was looking for a terraced house I sought those with a little kitchen stuck on the back, rather than one where the single back room was a kitchen/diner. As well as an extra room it also means no neighbours have a right of way over your back yard (although you do over the one nextdoor!) and can fence it off properly.

 

 

In the main they were built at the same time in the Victorian era although some have obviously been added later where they didn't exist originally.

My grandmother's terraced house in Hobart Street had two downstairs rooms plus an off shot kitchen. Having said that, until the introduction of free standing gas/electric cookers, the off shot (which had a sink) was used solely for washing clothes and pots. It was what we nowadays might call a laundry or utility room. Cooking was done on the Yorkshire range in the main room at the back of the house. The 'best' front room, which had a door opening straight onto the pavement, was used only rarely on special occasions. Stairs ran up between the two main rooms and a passage gave access to the back yard/garden between adjacent houses. Some were designed with a front door at the bottom of the stairs which opened into the passageway. There were two bedrooms plus one in the attic. No bathroom (tin bath in front of the range); no central heating (every room had a fireplace) and no inside toilet (the WC was at the top of the garden). Hard times but contented folks and happy memories.

I sometimes think the progress of mankind in my lifetime is reflected in the development of toilet paper! From torn up sheets of newspaper, to grease proof Izal, to soft tissue, now padded and finally wet wipes. Which proves no doubt that we are a much softer bunch than our forebears.

 

echo.

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In our street they were built as part of the standard pattern of the houses and at the same time. Our terrace has one gennel every 4 houses, and each yard of 4 has a house with the offshot kitchen at each end of the yard and two without the separate kitchen either side of the gennel. My house is one on the side of the gennel and mine has larger rooms upstairs because my house owns the space above the gennel, and this is the same pattern all the way up the street.

 

The bathrooms were put in with stud walls later, but the kitchens (and in our case proper staircases and attic bedrooms) were built with in as the houses were built. When I did my kitchen I found the beautiful black and cream Art Nouveau kitchen tiles which were original to the house too :)

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In our street they were built as part of the standard pattern of the houses and at the same time. Our terrace has one gennel every 4 houses, and each yard of 4 has a house with the offshot kitchen at each end of the yard and two without the separate kitchen either side of the gennel. My house is one on the side of the gennel and mine has larger rooms upstairs because my house owns the space above the gennel, and this is the same pattern all the way up the street.

 

The bathrooms were put in with stud walls later, but the kitchens (and in our case proper staircases and attic bedrooms) were built with in as the houses were built. When I did my kitchen I found the beautiful black and cream Art Nouveau kitchen tiles which were original to the house too :)

 

Thanks everyone.

 

Mine is in a courtyard of 4 like this and is why it seemed to me they were built like this originally, not added later. So in a street of what look very similar houses there were originally 3 types of house (and this is mostly still true today):

 

A has an offshot kitchen

B no offshot kitchen but has extra space upstairs over the gennel

C no offshot kitchen and no extra space upstairs over the gennel

Edited by Bilge

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In the main they were built at the same time in the Victorian era although some have obviously been added later where they didn't exist originally.

My grandmother's terraced house in Hobart Street had two downstairs rooms plus an off shot kitchen. Having said that, until the introduction of free standing gas/electric cookers, the off shot (which had a sink) was used solely for washing clothes and pots. It was what we nowadays might call a laundry or utility room. Cooking was done on the Yorkshire range in the main room at the back of the house. The 'best' front room, which had a door opening straight onto the pavement, was used only rarely on special occasions. Stairs ran up between the two main rooms and a passage gave access to the back yard/garden between adjacent houses. Some were designed with a front door at the bottom of the stairs which opened into the passageway. There were two bedrooms plus one in the attic. No bathroom (tin bath in front of the range); no central heating (every room had a fireplace) and no inside toilet (the WC was at the top of the garden). Hard times but contented folks and happy memories.

I sometimes think the progress of mankind in my lifetime is reflected in the development of toilet paper! From torn up sheets of newspaper, to grease proof Izal, to soft tissue, now padded and finally wet wipes. Which proves no doubt that we are a much softer bunch than our forebears.

 

echo.

 

I don't think the attic conversions were original features, most of these have been added much later.

 

Perhaps my old offshot kitchen was an original then, although as a 'utility' room. I was basing my opinion on the appearance of how it 'joined' to the main building, where it didn't seem to be tied in particularly well regarding the brick work.

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I don't think the attic conversions were original features, most of these have been added much later.

 

The attic in our Harrison Road house was an original part of the building - very, very cold in winter and boiling hot in summer!

It just had a leaky skylight, no dormer.

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When I was growing up, these sort of kitchens were always referred to as ' slop kitchens '

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I don't think the attic conversions were original features, most of these have been added much later.

 

Perhaps my old offshot kitchen was an original then, although as a 'utility' room. I was basing my opinion on the appearance of how it 'joined' to the main building, where it didn't seem to be tied in particularly well regarding the brick work.

 

Hi Cyclone. The attic bedroom in my grandmother's house was original and I've been in other Victorian terraced houses which also had original attic bedrooms. They were built for large families. Often the access to these rooms was by a steep and narrow staircase with winding treads at one or both ends and it was very difficult to get large pieces of furniture up there. Building regs wouldn't let you construct such a staircase nowadays.

 

echo.

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The answer is both - a process of evolution over many years. The original houses where back to back or long terraces with two rooms or flat terraces. As laws and requirements and expectations evolved the houses were built with a Schuller which contained the cold water supply and probably a boiler. At this time many of the straight terraces had the offshoot kitchen s added a sort of modernisation if you would. So the only way to be sure is to survey the actual property itself then it's secrets will be travelled.

 

---------- Post added 16-06-2015 at 19:20 ----------

 

offshoots not joining on well could be due to poor bonding or eroded all ties too as well as foundation issues,extreme settlement again you need to see it to identify it. hope this helps you

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I was born in the front room of the terraced house I grew up in. It had an off-shot kitchen and an attic. Both original. I remember 2 of the glass panes in the attic window were blacked out. They were remnants from the war. We were lucky enough to have a bathroom. (You had to go through the bathroom to get to the attic stairs.) There was a sink and a bath. The toilet was outside across the back yard.:)

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