We are buying an early Victorian House in the Wandsworth borough that has not had much done to it to date. We did notice that the floor under the stairs in the hallway has been covered over with concrete which I am pretty sure is newer than the existing floor in other parts of the house. The owners passed away so we have no one who can answer the questions we have.

My main question is why someone would do put concrete on teh floor under the stairs in the first place? Is it possible that there is a basement under the house that has been covered up and if so why? I know that other houses on the street have basements but this does not mean ours would definitely also as we’re on a hill and all the houses are built in different styles.

I know that a public drain is within the boundary of the house, access is at the front garden, and I wonder if this would have something to do with this.

Any thoughts welcome on what it could be.

  • Peter Eade

    Hi Dee,

    The easiest way to check if there is (or was) a basement would be to take up a couple of floor boards in the ground floor front room, if there’s a cellar you should find evidence of it… Most basements in Victorian houses were for the storage of coal and there should be a coal shoot beneath a manhole in the front garden. Often due to occasional flooding these basements are filled in with rubble with the stair access concreted over.

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