Housing during the Industrial Revolution
Conditions varied from the splendor and opulence of the homes of the wealthy to the squalor of the lives of the workers. The Industrial Age saw new homes for the rich mimicking stately homes, whilst those for the poor were often ramshackle, dirty slum dwellings.
Homes of the wealthy
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, with turrets, towers and imitation crenellations 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. Cliffe Castle information.
Homes of the poor
Crowded and 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 often lived in small houses in cramped 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 covering things such as sewage, sanitation and imposing some restrictions upon the construction of homes.
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.