Advertisement

International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 594–606 | Cite as

Living in the Industrial City: Housing Quality, Land Ownership and the Archaeological Evidence from Industrial Manchester, 1740–1850

  • Michael NevellEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper looks at the recent archaeological evidence for industrial housing in Manchester, United Kingdom. The paper argues that a fragmented land-holding pattern developed in a number of city-centre areas during the second half of the eighteenth century. This land-holding pattern gave rise to overcrowding as a result of the domestic redevelopment of back yard plots and the conversion of older housing to tenements. This redevelopment was at its most acute during the peak decades of population growth in the city, 1800–40, and this led to the conditions of poverty, disease, and overcrowding recorded in contemporary accounts from the mid-nineteenth century.

Keywords

Back-to-backs Cellar dwellings Land-holding Manchester Workshop dwellings 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Much of the fieldwork mentioned in this article was undertaken by staff from the University of Manchester Archaeology Unit, in effect the city’s own field unit which functioned from 1994 to 2009. The resultant “grey literature” reports are now held by the Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit as County Archaeological Curator. Ian Miller of Oxford Archaeology North kindly supplied the photograph of the Angel Street/Blakeley Street excavations, English Heritage gave permission to reproduce the reconstruction of 66–77 Lever Street, and Terry Wyke of Manchester Metropolitan University gave permission to adapt the police districts map. My thanks go to every member of UMAU in recovering this important material. My thanks also go to Paul Belford, Marilyn Palmer, Norman Redhead, Jim Symonds and John Walker with whom I have debated the thrust of this “slum” argument for many years.

References

  1. Aikin, J. (1795). A Description of the Country from 30 to 40 Miles Round Manchester, n. p., London.Google Scholar
  2. Belford, P. (2004). Urban industrial landscapes: Problems of perception and protection. In Barker, D., and Cranstone, D. (eds.), The Archaeology of Industrialization, Maney, Leeds, pp. 165–180.Google Scholar
  3. Belford, P. (2006). The world of the workshop: Archaeologies of urban industrialisation. In Green, A., and Leech, R. (eds.), Cities in the World, 1500–2000: Papers Given at the Conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, April 2002, Maney, Leeds, pp. 133–149.Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, L. D. (ed.) (1987). Visitors to Manchester, A Selection of British and Foreign Visitors’ Descriptions of Manchester from c. 1538–1865, Neil Richardson, Manchester.Google Scholar
  5. Casella, E. C., and Croucher, S. K. (2010). The Alderley Sandhills Project: An Archaeology of Community Life in (Post) Industrial England, Manchester University Press, Manchester.Google Scholar
  6. Connelly, P. A. (2002). 73/83 Liverpool Road, Manchester, An Archaeological Excavation within the Roman Vicus, University of Manchester Archaeology Unit, Manchester.Google Scholar
  7. Connelly, P. A., Kendall, T., Hunter-Mann, K., and Mainman, A. (2008). Hungate: The archaeology of modern urban poverty. Current Archaeology 28: 26–33.Google Scholar
  8. Engels, F. (2005). The Conditions of the Working Class in England, Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  9. Gwyn, D. (2006). Gwynedd: Inheriting a Revolution: The Archaeology of Industrialisation in North-West Wales, Phillimore, Chichester.Google Scholar
  10. Hartwell, C. (2001). Pevsner Architectural Guides: Manchester, Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  11. Jeffries, N., Owens, A., Hicks, D., Featherby, R., and Wehner, K. (2009). Rematerialising metropolitan histories? People, places and things in modern London. In Horning, A., and Palmer, M. (eds.), Crossing Paths or Sharing Tracks? Future Directions in the Archaeological Study of Post-1550 Britain and Ireland, Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge, pp. 323–350.Google Scholar
  12. Kidd, A. (2002 [1993]). Manchester. 3rd ed. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  13. Kidd, A. and Wyke. T. (eds.) (2010). The Challenge of Cholera: Proceedings of the Manchester Special Board of Health 1831–1833, The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Volume 145, Manchester.Google Scholar
  14. Miller, I., Wild, C., and Gregory, R. (2010). Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed: Piccadilly Place, Uncovering Manchester’s Industrial Origins, Oxford Archaeology, Oxford.Google Scholar
  15. Morton, D. (2009). Involving the public in Glasgow’s industrial archaeology: The M74 dig. The Archaeologist 74: 36–37.Google Scholar
  16. Nevell, M. (2003). From linen weaver to cotton manufacturer: Manchester during the 17th and 18th centuries and the social archaeology of industrialisation. In Nevell, M. (ed.), From Farmer to Factory Owner: Models, Methodology and Industrialisation: Archaeological Approaches to the Industrial Revolution in North West England, Council for British Archaeology North West, Liverpool, pp. 27–44.Google Scholar
  17. Nevell, M. (2005). The social archaeology of industrialisation: The example of Manchester during the 17th and 18th Centuries. In Casella, E. C., and Symonds, J. (eds.), Industrial Archaeology: Future Directions, Springer, New York, pp. 177–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nevell, M. (2008). Manchester. The Hidden History, The History Press, Stroud.Google Scholar
  19. Nevell, M. and Walker, J. S. F. (1998). Lands and Lordships in Tameside: Tameside in Transition 1348–1642. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (with the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit), Ashton-Under-Lyne.Google Scholar
  20. Noble, P., and Arrowsmith, P. (2005). Land at the Junction of Gravel Lane and Greengate Salford: An Archaeological Excavation, University of Manchester Archaeology Unit, Manchester.Google Scholar
  21. Palmer, M. (2004). The workshop: type of building or method of work? In Barnwell, P. S., Palmer, M., and Airs, M. (eds.), The Vernacular Workshop: From Craft to Industry, 1400–1900, Council for British Archaeology, York.Google Scholar
  22. Roberts, J. (1993). The residential development of Ancoats. Manchester Region History Review 7: 15–26.Google Scholar
  23. Symonds, J. (2005). Dirty old town? Industrial archaeology and the urban historic environment. In Gwyn, D., and Palmer, M. (eds.), Understanding the Workplace. A Research Framework for Industrial Archaeology in Britain, Maney, Leeds, pp. 57–66.Google Scholar
  24. Taylor, S., and Holder, J. (2008). Manchester’s Northern Quarter: The Greatest Meer Village, English Heritage, Swindon.Google Scholar
  25. Walker, L., and McNeil, R. (1997). 3 and 5 Kelvin Street (formerly Milk Street), Manchester: A Building Survey, University of Manchester Archaeology Unit, Manchester.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Archaeology, School of the Built EnvironmentUniversity of SalfordSalfordUK

Personalised recommendations