By Dr Donna Taylor, research volunteer and Sophie Slade
At first the properties were occupied separately and then Nos 23-24 became one, and Nos 25-26 another. The whole four properties were auctioned in 1876 as one lot and the advert gives an insight into the buildings:
“Lot 3 Warstone Lane – a remarkably well situated and improving Freehold property, comprising the four substantial three-storey houses. Nos 23, 24, 25, and 26 in Warstone Lane at the corner of Regent Row; and eight pleasantly situated houses in the rear with outbuildings and large yard, with frontage to Regent Row, and available as building land, the whole let, and producing at old fashioned and inadequate rents at £109 14s 10d”
Several families lived on the site before and after the current purpose-built factory was constructed, perhaps living in houses at the back as this advert suggests.
Aside from the growing jewellery trade, many other occupations were represented at Nos 23-26. For example, the Harrison family, living at No. 26 in the 1850s, contained a plumber, sign writer and painter; a dressmaker; and their lodgers, a merchant’s clerk, and coal labourer. Later the Harvey family operated a dining room, and then greengrocers there. Other people living with them included a silk weaver and a railway porter.