...By Solomon Thomas for TDPel Media.
Many people have probably walked past a house with bricked-up windows without giving it much thought.
However, the reason behind it may surprise some people.
According to historian and author Alice Loxton, who shared the fact on her Instagram page, the windows were covered as part of a tax-avoidance scheme.
In 1696, the British government introduced a window tax which meant that anyone living in a house with more than 10 windows was taxed.
The tax was meant to be paid by wealthier homeowners, who generally had bigger homes. However, homeowners found ways to avoid paying the tax, including bricking up windows.
The British government had underestimated the public’s determination to avoid paying the tax. This led to the widespread use of the tax-avoidance scheme, which is why we see the “strange feature” of bricked-up windows today.
There were many window taxes until 1851, when it was repealed after campaigning by figures such as Charles Dickens.
The spaces could also be a result of internal details, such as a staircase or chimney, but the majority were the result of the window tax.
Alice Loxton’s Revelation
Alice Loxton’s revelation on Instagram has earned her over 35,000 likes as impressed Brits thanked the expert for sharing the information.
Some commented that the history behind bricked-up windows was fascinating, while others thought it was awful that people had to give up light and fresh air due to a tax on windows.
The practice remains a common sight across England.
The history of England is full of peculiar stories, and the bricked-up windows are one such instance.
It is fascinating how homeowners used an ingenious method to avoid paying taxes, which ultimately resulted in the peculiar practice of bricking up windows.
Alice Loxton’s post highlights the ways in which taxes have affected homeowners in the past, and how people have found ways to get around them.
The revelation shows the importance of knowing the history behind peculiarities, and how these can tell us more about the past.