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42 Panton Street, Providence House

History of 42 Panton Street

1913:  42 Providence Terrace

Harry Edmond Stone

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Catherine Hall reminisced in 2001 about this house which she moved into in 1960. It is double fronted with the house door in the middle and the date MDCCCLI (1851) over it. She described the interior in detail:

When you went in, the front room on the right was an office and the back right-hand room had two steps down to a brick floor. The room is still extremely cold. It had decayed shelves, traces of a heavy outside blind, and iron rings in the kitchen from which hooks could hang. Across the passage was the parlour, and behind it the kitchen. The neighbour at 44 said that the cold room had been a tiny dairy.

Behind the houses was a communal cobbled yard with a well and cowsheds for half a dozen milking cows. the shed would have had haylofts above them. They backed onto St Eligius Street and in1901 were sold as cottages (nos. 1,3,5,7,9 & 11). The communal well was at the end of the garden of number 5 and at one time had the drains of the surrounding properties draining  into it. It is now concreted in.

On the other side of St Eligius Street, opposite the sheds, there was a straight, narrow passageway, a space now used by the Convent as a car park, that led to Brook Street and a little iron bridge, also dated 1851, which crosses Hobson’s Conduit. The path and the bridge would have been used by the cows going between the Providence House Dairy and Coe Fen. This little cow bridge has a bend in it.

(J Finch ‘Bull’s Milk Is Best’)

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