Pioneer Cottages, Penshurst: ‘three pairs of pretty dwellings’

An excellent posting about this excellent campaigner who even in the 1890,s would put this present government and show it for what it is a Reactionary bunch of Thatcherites who have nothing in common with great Reformers like Jane Escombe

Municipal Dreams

Last week, we looked at the very first rural council housing to be built – in Ixworth, Suffolk.  Its pioneering efforts did little to ease the path of its few successors.  It took five years to build the six council homes built in Penshurst in Kent in 1900.  That achievement was very largely due to the tireless efforts of one of our first women councillors – ‘perhaps the most stubborn woman councillor’ – Miss Jane Escombe. (1)

Penshurst, an early undated postcard Penshurst, an early undated postcard

Escombe seems an unlikely hero of housing reform.  Born in India in 1839, the daughter of an official of the East India Company, she lived in Penshurst in an all-female household as a lady of independent means.  Still, she was a more radical figure than this conventional façade might suggest.

(c) Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation ‘An Etcher Biting’ by Jane Escombe © Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service

She had been an accomplished…

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