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10-60 Fox Lane, Leyland, Lancashire

10-60 Fox Lane, Leyland, Lancashire
Photograph taken 11 October 1999 © Mr K. Foster LRPS. Source Historic England Archive ref: 357935

This is a continuous row of 26 houses, with basement workshops. Most (if not all) of them were built in or before 1802 by a terminating Building Society. They were known originally as "Friendly Society Houses". They are also known both architecturally and colloquially as "step-houses". Although many of the basements were used for handloom weaving, they were probably built to be rented out by the original owner occupiers. They would have joined the Building Society, as building a whole row of houses was cheaper than just building one youreself, with the idea of making some of their money back by renting the basements. Records show that the owners were occupationally mixed and mostly of the artisan middle class. For example one was a master manufacturer who subsequently built a cotton mill in Leyland. Despite some alterations the row forms an unusually large and complete survival of a type of housing now rare in Lancashire.

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