Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster (1825-1899) is known as the Victorian Duke and was in his day renowned for his probity and charitable endeavours.
Recalled as a kind man who greatly improved the Eaton Estate, he insisted on better living conditions for his employees and set about rebuilding their houses one by one. In order to preserve a piece of history he asked that in each village an example of an older dwelling should be preserved and restored.
Commissioning Chester-based architect John Douglas, he had the remaining properties rebuilt in red brick with mullion windows and red slate roofs. Some feature ‘barleytwist' chimneys whilst uniform maintenance standards ensure that today the houses still have white front doors with black detailing, and the same deep red colour (for back doors and downpipes) which formed part of the original specification.
The fact that, more than a hundred years later, the waiting list for these rural and village properties remains as long as ever, underlines the historical and aesthetic value of the work undertaken on behalf of the 1st Duke.