Old maps reveal original features

Old Maps used to be pretty detailed!  This is from the OS map of 1911.  Not only has the house name well and truly settled down as Penraevon, but we can see details of the house layout and outbuildings.

It’s funny because as you walk around the house there are features that you wonder whether are original or not.  For example to the side of the house is a mysterious brick bunker with steps going down.  We thought it might have been a WWII air raid shelter – but it’s shown on this map of 1911 – no air raids in 1911!  We have since discovered that was in fact both – an original coal bunker that was then augmented with a concrete roof slab and extended brick walls.

The other thing that can be seen on this map is the glasshouse.  Quite large and imposing, maybe more of an Orangery?….or maybe there was a keen botanist in the house?  Further investigation has brought to light that this glasshouse is right next to the Tennis Court…so maybe they had given up on Tennis by 1911??

The courtyard shows the cut-away veranda – again another feature that I suspected may have been later – but no.


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  1. Avatarsays: Trudi

    The brick bunker was probably for coal/firewood. Sainsburys wasn’t really up and running in 1911, they would have needed to propagate/grow food. It wasn’t a lifestyle choice.

    1. Happenuponsays: Happenupon

      Yes we have uncovered the chute for the coal bunker and it was later used as a bomb shelter. Although there was no sainsburys in Leeds (though there were a couple in London) we did have Leeds Market when our house was built. In the market was Marks and Spencer, plus all the foodstuffs which were brought in by railway such as asparagus, fruit, as well as fresh fish from the East Coast. The butcher, the grocer, the fishmonger, the cheesemonger and the milkman would all deliver food to the house. Although they may have grown some food the house wasn’t grand enough to have a gardener or poor/rural enough to require them to grow their own. Most of our favourite brands were developed by the Victorian’s including Bird’s custard, HP sauce, Heinz beans, Fray Bentos corned beef (read a full list here) . There is evidence of a glass house but this may have been used as a winter garden or to grow exotic plants.

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