Examples of labourers’ cottages, with plans for improving the dwellings of the poor in large towns.
London,T. Pettitt & Co 1871.
8vo. 40+(2)pp (the penultimate page misnumbered 38), (23) litho plates, numbered 1-III, 4-8, IX, 9, 11-16, 7 (sic), 18-23) Publisher’s gilt- and blind-stamped cloth.
Second edition (but apparently the first edition in this format) of this successful little book promoting the author’s designs for cottages for agricultural labourers and for housing for the urban poor. He had won one of the Society of Arts’s prizes for a design for a cottage in 1864, and by 1871 he had persuaded eighteen named landowners to build to this design, while he had also produced more ambitious cottage designs for other clients. The volume concludes with two designs for six-story tenement blocks “for the accommodation of the poor of Liverpool” which Birch had entered for a competition held in 1867. Because Birch did not belong to any of the architectural profession’s recognised organisations and did not move in artistic London circles, he has until now been largely neglected by architectural historians, but he evidently possessed considerable entrepreneurial skills as a designer of country houses, estate cottages, lodges and stables for the nobility and gentry.