1825 - Factory Workers’ Terraces




In the 19th century row upon row of identical terraces were built to provide cheap workers' housing, Many of these were 'back to back', split in two along their length so that the door and only windows were at the front. At intervals tunnels ran through between adjoining streets. Having three walls in common saved on bricks and labour costs but it also meant the houses were claustro­phobic and lacking in light and ventilation. There was no space for a bathroom or even a proper kitchen with running water. Washing was hung out in the street amid the factory smoke, and there were grim blocks of outside toilets shared by everyone. But not all industrialists were content to turn a blind eye to the con­ditions in which their employees lived. The more en­lightened ones built model communities for workers, where standards of accommodation were high and rents were fair. Their motives were practical as well as philan­thropic. The slums bred diseases; illness resulted in absenteeism; without hands to operate them, machines fell silent and profits tumbled. Clean, comfortable housing, it was hoped, would encourage a healthy and industrious workforce and in this respect many of the more caring employers found they made a handsome return on their investment.

1800 - Industrialist’s Mansion

1900 - Suburban Semi