First called Labourers’ Friend Cottages, these 26 properties, were built between 1852 and 1870. They are thought to have come about after June 1841 when the Reverend Edward Aislabie Ommanney, incumbent of Mortlake and son of Admiral Sir Erasmus Ommanney, and the Reverend F J H Reeves, his curate of Spencer House, East Sheen, attended the inauguration of a plan to produce self-supporting villages to improve the physical and moral health of the labouring classes. Sometime after this the Mortlake Labourers’ Friend Society was formed. In 1852 they bought a paddock and built six homes Numbers 1 – 6. Numbers 7 – 8 followed but in a different, less ornate design. By 1854 numbers 9 and 10 were standing and two years later numbers 11 and 12. Completing the eastern end of the row were numbers 13 and 16 in 1858. Having completed this the name Model Cottages was adopted as an example of what buildings should be like. Tenants were encouraged to grow only vegetables and not to take in tenants, to put an end to overcrowding the source of so much disease, particularly cholera, that blighted the lives of the poorer classes several times in Mortlake. The rest of the houses numbers 17 – 26 were build between 1866 and 1870. The original houses were bought by E H Leycester Penrhyn of The Cedars, East Sheen, in 1862.
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