About this image
Close to the parish church of St Peter and St Paul is the rectory, a late Georgian neo-classical house built in 1720 with arched and rectangular mullion windows. The picture here shows the section which housed the staircase, and shows windows which have been blocked off to avoid paying the 'Window Tax'. This tax was introduced in 1696 as a replacement for the Hearth Tax and was often levied with the House Tax. It was repealed in 1851 when it was replaced by House Duty. The tax was worked out from a scale of bands based on the number of windows in the house. In 1696 all house were charged at 2s, properties with 10-20 windows paid 4s and those with more than 20 windows paid 8s. In 1747 the charges were: 10-14 windows at 6d per window, 15-19 windows at 9d, and 20 or more windows at 1s. By 1825 houses with less than 8 windows became exempt. The taxpayer was usually the occupier rather than the owner and they often attempted to camouflage or block up the windows to avoid payment. Today on some older houses the bricked up windows can still be seen. This process, however, can be confused with the use of dummy windows to maintain architectural proportions.