Prince Consort Cottages, formerly called Model Cottages, were built in 1855 under the direction of Prince Albert who took great interest in farming techniques and the living conditions of farm workers. He founded the Royal Association for Improving the Conditions of Labourers in 1851, and purchased some land near Victoria Barracks. He invited Henry Roberts, RSA to plan a small new estate incorporating his model housing scheme. The houses were built with hollow bricks to reduce condensation and damp, though, later, standard red bricks were used. Instead of wood, iron was used in order to minimise the risk of fire damage. There was a wash house and good sanitation. Prince Albert often walked down from the Castle to inspect the building work. Then he offered rewards to encourage the residents to take pride in their dwellings. After his death in 1861 Queen Victoria continued the tradition. Until 1969 Prince Consort Cottages were owned by a Trust. By then they needed considerable modernisation. The only exterior changes were new slate roofs, while garden areas made way for cars. The quadrangle of cottages has now been declared a conservation area, each cottage being listed as of Historic and Architectural Interest.
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