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Life during the Industrial Revolution

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Living Conditions during the Industrial Revolution varied from the splendor of the homes of the owners to the squalor of the lives of the workers. In this section you will find descriptions and links that will help you to understand what living in an Industrialising city may have been like.

Homes of the wealthy

Cliffe Castle, Keighley. Built as the home of a wealthy local industrialist.

Cliffe Castle, Keighley, is a good example of how the newly rich chose to live. This is a large home modelled loosely on a castle, woth turrets, towers and imitation crennaltions on the walls of the garden. The home is very large and was surrounded by a massive garden, the estate itself stretching for a number of miles. Cliffe Castle is now open to the public as a museum. Admission is Free. click here to find out how to get there.

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Homes of the poor

Crowded ad filthy streets such as these were typical of the homes found in 'slum' areas in Cities. These were the homes of the bulk of the working classes during the industrial Revolution.

Poor people lived in small houses in crampred streets. These homes would share toilet facilities, have open sewers (initially at least) and would be susceptible to damp. Conditions did improve during the 19th century as a number of public health acts were introduced covereing things such as sewage, sanitation and imposing some restricions upon the construction of homes.

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of this image.

Of course not everybody lived in homes like these. The Industrial Revolution led to there being a larger middle class of professionals such as lawyers and doctors. The conditions for the poor improved over the course of the 19th century due to a number of government and local initiatives which led to cities becoming cleaner places. You must also bear in mind that life hadn't been exactly brilliant for the poor before industrialisation either.






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Recommended Resources - new site. Including Blog and use of twitter for free text / IM revision tips. highly recommends these sites: - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils. - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links. - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils. - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students - resources and CPD materials from the Historical Association. - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way! - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit - excellent range of photographs of Yorkshire scenery. Militaria - a range of interesting pieces of militaria is available via tihs site
The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Oakworth - great historical public house with loads of great beer and a lovely atmosphere