1800 - Weaver's cottage
Before the onset of factory production in the Industrial Revolution, the home was often the workplace as well. North-country weavers had very distinctive stone-built cottages in which practically the whole of the upper floor was given over to their looms and spinning jennies. Good light was essential in this cottage industry, and so long bands of windows were installed to let in the maximum amount of daylight — the sash window here is for ventilation. A tax on each window in a house was levied between 1696 and 1851 but, fortunately for the weavers, each long row was classified as a single window rather than being taxed individually. Weaving was a very labour-intensive industry and, besides carrying out their domestic duties, women and children were all involved with the work, spinning and carding the wool while the husband operated the loom. Sometimes the demand for cloth was so high that another storey would be added to accommodate extra machinery. In Victorian times, however, most weaving was done in the new steam mills and only a few weavers continued to work at home. Many of these cottages were originally two-roomed farmhouses, and until the end of the 18th century weavers often combined their trade with agriculture. By this time the demand for cloth had grown enormously, and farming became a secondary pursuit.
|1775 - Georgian Town House|