the year after the complete works had been carried out it fell to 25 per thousand. These facts, however, are of less importance than what were discovered as regards particular localities. The sewerage and paving of one street was followed by 60 per cent. less deaths,-the sickness diminishing by 24 to 29 per cent. ; whilst in streets not altered it remained as before. Crime and the use of spirituous liquors at the same time decreased. - The case of Lambeth-square, where thirty-seven houses, previously visited by cholera and typhus, were, by the substitution of closets and drain-pipes for privies and cesspools, freed from the recurring typhus, and escaped the last visitation of cholera, though in an unhealthy district, where the disease ravaged surrounding streets, is a case which well deserves to be recollected.* One instance is given in The Builder, during the last year, in which the outlay of 51. each house, in improving the drainage of a block of houses, had raised the rent obtain. able, 21. per house per annum; at the same time securing abundance of applicants,-independent of the advantages attending diminished sickness, and conséquent punctual payment of rent. Indeed, it is apparent that, in the case of dwellings with proper external and internal sanitary provisions, even increase of rent will leave a gain in material comfort to the tenants.

As regards measures of a somewhat different character for the sanitary improvement of the metropolis, there is ground for nearer approach to satisfaction. The whole of the water companies, except the Chelsea Company, were bound by the Act of 1852 to have their new works in operation in August 1855; and inquiry was to have been made of them in September last, what steps they had taken. Perhaps Sir Benjamin Hall's change of office may have allowed the matter to be lost sight of for a time, for we have not heard the result of such an application. A report, however, was presented to Parliament last April, from which and subsequent inquiry we are in possession of some important particulars. The Southwark and Vauxhall Company, in March 1855, were expecting to afford a supply within about two months of that time. From the new works at about a quarter of a mile above the village of Hampton, the main would extend to new works at Battersea,-a length of 23,000 yards. The Grand Junction Company, having their works of supply adjoining those of the last-named company, about the same time were expecting to supply by the middle of the next May. The main to the new deposit and filtering reservoir at Kew Bridge would be 13,000 yards in length. The West Middlesex Company, having their works at the same place, on March 8th had their 36-inch main, about 87 miles in length, all laid to the subsiding reservoirs and filter beds at Barnes, which, indeed, had been in operation for about nine months. The high level reservoir at Barrow Hill was being covered over (this has since been done, with hollow bricks), and an engine-house had been erected to supply the water into a reservoir at a still higher level. The sums paid by this company up to March, amounted to 126,2961. The buildings attached to the works of the three companies, abovo Hampton, are in the Italian style. They adjoin each other, and are similar in design; and each has a portion of building in the form of a tower. The mains-two mains of 36 inches, and one main of 33 inches diameter, have been estimated as together capable of bringing 60,000,000 gallons in 24 hours, a volume of water set forth as equal to the contents of a river 30 feet wide, 3 feet deep, and flowing at the rate of a mile an hour. The mains of the West Middlesex, and Southwark and Vauxhall Companies, had to be passed under the Thames at Richmond. The operation was one of some importance, and was effected by forming three coffer-dams in succession, across the river.-The Lambeth Company, as mentioned last year, have had their works some time in operation, The works of the Chelsea Company, for which the supply is taken from the river, a little above Kingston, were reported in March, to be far advanced, and capable of being completed in the spring of 1856, an additional year being allotted in the case of this company. The Chelsea Company's mains have also to be brought across the Thames. In this case, we observe, the pipes are carried, from Putney to Fulham, over the level of the stream, a little above the old bridge. They are borne on piers formed by Mitchell's patent cast-iron screw piles. The New River Company having obtained the Act for the diversion of the sewage of Hertford, have been covering over their different reservoirs, and on March 7th were proceeding with works for filtering. At the date named, the company had expended more than 274,0001., and were providing for a further outlay of upwards of 200,0001. The East London Company derive their supply from the Lea, near Chingford, having diverted the drainage from the river up to 6 miles above the point of their former supply. They had completed and put to work 6 acres of filter beds in June 1854, and they have a covered aqueduct 2, miles in length, by which the filtered water is conveyed to the pumping establishment at Old Ford ; and on the 1st March, they were covering over the reservoirs to be used there, forming a duplicate set of filter beds, and making duplicate connexions between the pumping-engines and the covered aqueducts. One large engine and a new set of mains had been completed, so as to serve the highest part of the district.—The Kent Waterworks, drawing their supply from the Ravensbourne, were mentioned in our last, as then completed. The Hampstead Company, in March 1855, were engaged in sinking the artesian well, which had then reached to 1,188 feet of depth. Having passed through the chalk stratum and the underlying gault, and having reached the beds of grés which constitute the upper portion of the green-sand formation, the Company were in daily expectation of reaching an abundant supply of water, and had their machinery in readiness.

* See “Results of Sanitary Improvement," &c., by Southwood Smith, M.D, 1854. Has the writer of this pamphlet received any proper return for his long and beneficial labours?

There are, however, many who doubt whether the principle of river supply is that which should have been chosen, as in the most important cases above mentioned ; and there are, indeed, some who go to the extent of believing that the withdrawal from the Thames of a volume of water so large as what may be estimated from the statement given as to three of the companies, will have, if it have not already had, the effect of lessening the scouring power of the stream, necessary to prevent the excess of that deposit on the banks which already is so serious an inconvenience. The provision for filtration is of some importance, notwithstanding the difference between the pellucid water generally found above Teddington Lock, and the opaque, semi-fluid compound lower down-so offensive to sight and smell during the last summer-which compound the Chelsea Company have been distributing without filtration. That such provision is important we think must be conceded, having regard to the great amount of sewage which has entered from towns higher up the stream. At the same time, doubt has been expressed as to the pos. sibility of complete removal of impurities by any ordinary means, even by the use of charcoal. As to the exact efficacy of this latter filtering medium, it were much to be desired that any doubts were cleared up. The works in operation, or proposed, for the supply of some of the provincial towns, seem to us better calculated to mcet the necessities of the case than the actual system as to London. Not only is the importance of the constant supply apprehended from the outset, but the best sources for purity are sought, even though at considerable distances. One of the chief of such recent works is that for the supply of Liverpool from Rivington Pike. In that case, however, it seems to be now doubted, whether the supply will be adequate; and this has revived an original proposal made by Mr. Rawlinson, tó take the supply from Bala Lake in Wales. In Glasgow, the supply will probably be drawn from Loch Lomond.

Great exertions have been called for, throughout the kingdom, in order to provide the new cemeteries, pursuant to the Orders in Council, and the manner of administration of the Act of Parliament. Advertisements have been addressed weekly to architects, inviting plans to be sent in competition; though we must say that the terms offered-sometimes as little as 51. for the set of elaborate drawings which may chance to be accepted-do not seem calculated to induce much expenditure of thought by members of a profession which requires very varied attainments, and a long course of study. The whole question of architects' and sculptors' competitions is one too much mixed up with that of competition in general, for those who are most interested to have the chance of speedily settling it; and all that can be at present said is, that competitions now involve much that is unwise as regards all persons' interests, and the interests of art, if not much that is degrading or questionable in morals. This, however, is not the place to attempt to show why the best use in every way is not made of the available talent of the country, in cases where there is the necessity for a sudden and general appeal to it. But the government and the legislature are not less blameable than municipal and parochial authorities. We may instance the late offer of a premium by the Barrack Accommodation Committee appointed by the Minister of War, where it is stipulated that all plans sent in, rewarded or not, are to remain the property of the War Department. So that-as 130 sets of drawings are understood to have been sent-the country paying amongst half-a-dozen competitors, 6001. in premiums (not a pound more than the money-worth), is to get 124 sets of drawings-involving a cost of, at the most moderate computation, 1,5001. to 2,0001.-at the expense of the unlucky authors. We have not to urge that the system—here seen in but one of its phases, and that one a comparatively favourable one-is opposed to the high English spirit of honour; we have merely to say that it is one of those matters which require reformation,-as an object which, like the popular information on art, and the natural apprehension of respective duties and claims between artists and the public, must be attended to, if ever the desired advancement is to be effected in art, and the best use made of such resources of education and skill as may happen to await demand.

The Marylebone Cemetery at Finchley, laid out by Messrs. Barnett and Birch, has been opened. The general character of the architectural features, somewhat resembles those in the joint cemeteries for Islington and St. Pancras, by the same architects, also open, and in the same locality. We noticed these last year. The cemetery for the City, at Ilford, in Essex, is about being completed. It occupies 95 acres of ground. The old cemetery of St. Martin's-inthe-Fields, St. Pancras, has had a portion of the ground laid out for building purposes-not, however, without lond remonstrance. The cemetery for Paddington has been formed of 25 acres of ground, at a site on the road from Kilburn to Willesden, and is one of the cases which we had in view last year, when we expressed the fear that sites had been chosen too near the metropolis. The architect employed was Mr. Thomas Little; and we may say that in the buildings, he has succeeded in producing an effect both novel and consistent, as contrasted with many attempts. The details will be considered as belonging to the early decorated style of Gothic architecture, and are well studied, but the important feature of the design is the grouping of the chapels with their accessory buildings. The whole forms a range of buildings on a site in the centre of the grounds. The two chapels are placed one at each end of a line, the intermediate features being made by porches and robing-rooms, two archways under gables, and a lofty gabled bell-turret in the centre. The chapels are dissimilar to each other, except as to position and general outline; otherwise, uniformity is observed. The aim of the architect was to avoid the insignificance of character which may be suggested by small chapels when isolated in large open spaces; and the result is better than that where chapels are placed in the position of lodges --- thereby not only approaching too near to the bustle of a roadway, but also contributing little to the effect of the grounds. Lodges, in the present case, are placed at the gates for a keeper and a sexton. The amount of the contracts for the several works at the cemetery was 9,1591.

The scheme of the London Necropolis Company comprised the purchase of* 2,100 acres of ground at Woking, extending for upwards of four miles along the line of the South Western Railway. Four hundred acres of this have now been enclosed and planted, and a short branch line has been formed for the approach of the funeral train to the chapels, which are at present temporary buildings. The ground is situated in a picturesque locality, and is appropriately laid

out. A separate station for the Company has been formed in the Westminster Road, from which a train starts at an appointed time with the funerals and mourners. Rooms are provided for the reception of each funeral, or for the mourners to assemble at,-privacy of course being regarded. The entrance from the Westminster Road is by a large arch of Norman character in decorative brickwork. This, with the whole London Station, was designed by Mr. Tite, Mr. Abrahain, and subsequently Mr. Sydney Smirke, A.R.A., being the architects employed at the Cemetery itself. The Company claim that their cemetery is the largest in the world, and that it is one of very few not liable to be closed at some future, and perhaps not distant time. To every corpse is allotted a separate grave, « which cannot be re-opened except at the request of the friends of the deceased previously interred, for a space of ten years." The Company will also undertake the whole arrangements of a funeral, the charges being a mere fraction of those incurred under the old, or, we may say, the other existing system; one which few have had any experience of without disgust, or sorrow, that human nature should sink so low under the greed of gain. If the Company should persevere, and succeed in raising up any different system-in place of that which has been so often commented on, but with little practical result-it may be confessed, even by those who believe that some of the last offices of the dead should not be transferred to agents-that the scheme has been productive of good, independent of public health. One of the original proposals of those most active in the subject of extramural interments, was for houses of reception,-in order that where families resided in a single apartment, the corpse might be at once removed ; and so, a custom might be altered, which is now injurious to health, hurtful to the feelings, and somewhat prejudicial to the maintenance of that tone of mind which is productive of good morals. The influence of the people of Lambeth, however, prevented the Necropolis Company from having this power within the metropolis, and the Company are obliged to remove all bodies to the Cemetery without a detention longer than twenty-four hours. In some cases, however, it is found that relatives do not object to the conveyance of the corpse unattended, when it can be deposited at the Cemetery till such time as the funeral may be arranged for.--A similar scheme is on foot for a cemetery at Colney Hatch, with conveyance by the Great Northern Railway; and, though opposed by the authorities of the parishes which have opened cemeteries in the same direction, it will perhaps be carried out. If the original proposal to form the cemeteries on the river side, could have been adhered to, the objects might have been better attained. In the cemeteries, generally, there is great difference of art-merit. In very many cases, the utmost that the architect could design, is shown in two ordinary Gothic buildings as chapels, with porches for carriages to drive under-one building having a tower and spire,—the result of that arrangement of course being that the other chapel appears to want its intended finish. We have seen designs, however, which avoided this defect, though for places the names of which we are just now

« ElőzőTovább »