It is often noted that no two blocks in the village are identical. However, with few exceptions, the cottages are styled within the vernacular revival idiom. The housing is arranged in blocks of two to eighteen cottages but most blocks consist of between three and ten. Elaborate exteriors belied a somewhat basic interior of two standard types - the Kitchen cottage with kitchen scullery, larder and three bedrooms and the Parlour cottage with the addition of a parlour and fourth bedroom. Much consideration was given to site location - for example Lever wished to maaximise the visual impact of the village for passing trains and so Greendale Road faces the railway. To enhance the view of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, several houses were demolished between 1924 - 1926. The first cottages, now demolished, built by W.S.Owen between 1889 and 1890 were an assymetrical block of three relieved by hung gables - a reproduction was built at the 1910 Brussels Exhibition. The variety of feature - half-timbering, carved woodwork and masonry, pargetting (ornamental plasterwork) and leaded glazing patterns was evident in subsequent building by Owen, Grayson & Ould and Douglas & Fordham. The high quality of building materials coupled with exquisite detailing became the hallmark of building within the village

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[ 2. HOUSING ]



The distinct phases of building can be discerned through the materials used. Red pressed brick was used extensively in the 1889 - 1897 phase whilst black and white half-timber coupled with Ruabon stone was also common around this time. The more restrained elements of the Arts and Crafts movement pervaded the building work of the early 20th century and towards the start of World War 1, neo-georgian elements were introduced. Lever noted some of the professional criticisms of the time, of over-elaboration and questionned the extravagant use of costly building materials. However, he seemed to overlook this at Port Sunlight and many designs retained the embellishments and decorations that distinguish the properties. Lever had a serious academic interest in architecture. Professor Charles H Reilly induced Lever to get involved with the Liverpool School of Architecture and to found the Chair of Civic Design. Reilly himself designed Lower Road (Nos 15 - 37) - a distinctive crescent block rather incongruous to the village. Building stopped in 1939 with the completion of Jubilee Crescent. During World War 2, many cottages were destroyed but were destroyed under the direction of Lomax-Simpson. Modernisation and renovation work has brought the village up-to-date but the essential appearance and character of the village has remained untouched.