Our House

Bristol House Repair - Exterior & House Plan

The house layout was very unusual and was one of the reasons I bought it. In fact, looking back through my old photos writing these pages I really miss my old house.

23 Manwrthy Road, Brislington, Bristol

From the front the house looks perfectly normal - February 1996

The entire front section, from the drainpipe on towards the end of the house, is just two rooms, one up and one down. The downstairs room I used as a huge dining room which was great for parties. When I bought the house the then owners said they used the upstairs room as their party room.

23 Manworthy Road, rear exterior

Rear of the house - February, 1996

To the far left can jsut be seen the concrete roof of the brick-built shed. The concreete roof of this shed is around 6" thick and it might have been added to the house as an air-raid shelter at the beginning of World War II.

The window with the orange curtains is the back kitchen. The black door next to that is the back entrance to that part of the house. Unfortunately, I haven't got photos of it, but behind that door is a short passage that led to the rear kitchen which was on the left. On the right of the passage was a door into the small back toilet. This was one of the oldest I have ever seen and used a high level bell syphon cistern.

Bell Cistern

Bell Cistern
Pulling the chain raises the bell which creates the suction needed to lift water up and into the syphon tube.
Image from Virtual Lavatory

One day this cistern stopped working and taking the rusty old thing apart I thought, "this looks something that could have been dragged up from the Titanic" not thinking at the time that the cast-iron bell had already been under water far longer than the Titanic itself. What had happened was that the edge of the bell had corroded and was no longer producing much suction when it was raised. I caame up with what I thought was a nice idea to repair it. What I did was buy a second-hand car rubber inner tube and cut a circular section out of it. This I forced over the end of the bell so that the edges were once again a snug fit in the plastic casing. For all I know it's still there.

Over the back door can be seen another black door. This is a stable door to the old store room above. This was the only way of getting into that room. It's nit visible in the picture but near the ground was a small door that led into the floor space under the house. The ladder to get into the store room was kept in there. The store room was an amazing room. Parts of the concrete ceiling are nearly three feet thick! There were two skylights when I bought the place that were cracked and whch I replaced with wired glass. There was also a hatch so you could get up on the flat roof. For some reason, for a while I grew cucumbers in the room.

Above the door was a hole through the concrete lintel. This was once a channel for an iron I-beam which the people I'd bought the house from said had to be removed because it had become unsafe. This was the support for a block and tackle that was used to get bags of flour to and from the store room.

Next to the upper-level door can be seen part of the window of the third bedroom.

On the right of the photo can be seen the conservatory which wasa relatively recent add-on. I grew cactii here. One of which was a real maneater with 2" long barbed spikes. I was forever brushing against it and having to pull the spikes out of my hands and arms. In March, 2001, the year I sold the house and moved to America, nearly all the cactii bloomed and all together, the only year that had happened - some had never flowered before.

One of my cactii

One of my cactii - March 2001

One of my cactii - March 2001

Above the conservatory can be seen a small sloped roof. None of the other houses in the terrace had this and I think it was a added earlier than the conservatory and used to extend the kitch by about 3 feet.

Above that can be seen the window of the bathroom. I'm not sure if the house was ever built with a proper bathroom but this one was very spacious and was bigger than the third bedroom. It may have been another bedroom that had been turned into a modern bathroom.

23 Manworthy Road - Satellite view

23 Manworthy Road - Satellite view
from Google Maps, July 2010

Ground Floor Plan Upper Floor Plan

Ground floor and upper floor plans
Notice that there was no internal egress to the upper store room.

The previous owners had an older relation living with them and she had the dining room and back kitchen, along with the small passage that led to a back door and also a small toilet. The house had obviously seen a lot of alterations over the years.

This page created 9th July 2010, last modified 10th July 2010

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