5 Camden Place, was originally built by Mr. Thomas Leach, a merchant trading in haberdashery, hosiery and drapery, through his shop on nearby Fishergate high street.
Thomas was widely recognised as a leading local businessman, with his trading cards and details held in a collection of prominent merchants at the British Museum in central London.
Thomas built two townhouses at 5 Camden Place, a larger house for himself and his family and a second smaller townhouse as an adjacent servants quarter.
Today, this townhouse hosts five of our beautifully restored Winckley Square Residences, with the other five being hosted at 18 Ribblesdale Place.
Samuel Leach, one of the four children of Thomas and his wife Isabella, would in his later years, fondly recall memories of happy family times in the house.
Anecdotal records show the portion of Winckley Square Gardens owned by Thomas was used to grow flowers, vegetables and fruit, with the maids having to rise at 2.30am on Monday mornings to wash the laundry, which was then dried on a grassy area at the lower end of the garden, then being removed before the working day started. This clandestine practice gives depth to the well known saying ‘don’t wash your dirty laundry in public!’
One can only wonder at the life of these maids, with their incredibly early start to a nocturnal grind of scrubbing, washing and drying clothes.
It is certainly a far cry from the experience of gently waking now in one of the luxuriously spacious residences the townhouse has been restored to.