"to contribute to the window tax"
Blocked up windows in the Bank of England (1842)
Public DomainBlocked up windows in the Bank of England (1842) - Credit: Thomas Shotter Boys

 Window tax was introduced in England and Wales in 1696; property owners paid differing amounts of tax according to the number of windows in their properties, thus ensuring that the wealthiest members of society paid the most tax. To reduce it, property owners started blocking up some of their windows.

The tax was abolished in 1851, but even today one may see the legacy of the window tax in old buildings which still have some of their windows blocked up.

 

The legacy of the window tax: Portland Street, Southampton
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe legacy of the window tax: Portland Street, Southampton - Credit: Whilesteps