An early industrial slum;Angel Meadow, Manchester in the Regency

Georgian and Victorian Britain

The Regency period was the time that population pressure and industrialisation turned a formerly rural areas into slums. The area called Angel Meadow in Manchester was one such place. In an 1802 advertisement-admittedly trying to sell property- described the area  as “An airy and pleasant place”. By 1844 Friedrich Engels called in “Hell upon Earth”. This was a remarkable transformation in 42 years, and it mirrors much of the social and environmental effects of industrialisation, which have their early roots in the Regency.
One of Britain’s first factories was in Angel Meadow . Richard Arkwright built Shudehill Mill between Miller Street and Angel Street in the 1780s, using the River Irk to transport raw cotton. By 1800, with population pressure growing, parcels of land were being sold off around the established church and roads. 1802 was particularly busy. Spinning Machinery from a factory in Back Lane, and Spinning Jennys from another factory…

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