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PORT SUNLIGHT

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Model garden village for the accomodation of workers to the nearby Port Sunlight Soap Factory. The village was planned by William Hesketh Lever when he needed to move to a new factory location from Warrington in 1886. The site originally covered an area of 22.6 hectares of which 13 hectares were allocated for the village, the remainder for the factory. Construction first started in 1889-1890 in the southwest area of the village and included houses and public buildings set around a formal open space designed by architects including William Owen. More building in this area took place in 1891-92 and 1893-97. Further expansion of the village was planned in 1892 increasing its total area to 53 hectares and involved new architects as well as those employed during the first phase of construction. No architect was responsible for the design of more than two or three blocks of houses. Most of the houses were arranged in blocks of up to 18 dwellings, with blocks of between three and ten being the most frequent. The blocks were of foward facing houses set around central allotment gardens and forming greens. Two designs of housing were built, the Kitchen Cottage offering standard workers accomodation with three bedrooms and the Parlour Cottage for Clerks with four bedrooms. Larger houses were built for managerial staff. In 1910 a competition was held for the revised plan for completion of the village as much of the central area around the Diamond had not yet been developed. This was won by Ernest Prestwich and implemented together with revisions by Lever and James Lomax-Simpson. More housing was constructed during the 1930s and included the building of Jubilee Crescent in 1938. A programme of restoration took place during World War II when damaged housing stock was restored or rebuilt to orginal designs by James Lomax-Simpson. Between 1963 and 1977 a programme of modernisation took place involving the renovation of houses and the provision of back gardens and garages.

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