Historic Building Practices in Medway: Part One

Historic Building Practices in Medway

The Victorian era extended from 1837-1901. Other than the many buildings of historical interest (mostly confined to Rochester), you will notice that properties in Medway predominantly fall into the category of being built during the reign of Queen Victoria. Building practices changed little up to the 1920’s when a vast new wave of development took hold, leaving a clear delineation between the many Victorian terraces for the masses and the marginally more salubrious properties which continued to be built on the outskirts of the Medway towns well into the 1930’s. Being slightly larger in size the 1930’s property often displays mock-historical features and insulation deficient bay windows.

After the outbreak of war in 1939, development practically ceased. Then after the war an into the 1950’s a new wave of development took hold. Countless poorly built council properties were strewn about the place. Their distinctive bland style and poor construction methods are now evident in decades worth of incremental deterioration. This isn’t entirely accurate of course. These properties were built on a budget to fulfill a purpose and many remain well cared for to this day. Unfortunately the practice of cast in-situ concrete lintels/roofs etc. which achieved the criteria of an economical option, are now a pestilence to many a Medway estate, as the re-bar reinforcement contained within the concrete often succumbs to rust and decay.
Anything built 1960’s onwards, is considered a ‘modern property’.

Rochester Building History
Sporadic post-war additions to the neighbourhood include the addition of 1950’s/60’s council properties (above, middle). Sometimes allowances were made for aesthetics sometimes not. Where bombing during the second world war had effectively demolished several random Victorian terrace properties in a row, post-war construction often allowed for a small block of flats (below).

flat damp medway

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