North West Region Archaeological Research Framework Industrial and Modern Resource Assessment Draft November 2004
INDUSTRIAL AND MODERN PERIOD RESOURCE ASSESSMENT Edited by Robina McNeil and Richard Newman
With contributions by Mark Brennand, Eleanor Casella, Bernard Champness, David Cranstone, Peter Davey, Chris Dunn, Andrew Fielding, David George, Elizabeth Huckerby, Christine Longworth, Robina McNeil, Ian Miller, Mike Morris, Mike Nevell, Caron Newman, Richard Newman, North West Medieval Pottery Research Group, Sue Stallibrass, Ruth Hurst Vose, Kevin Wilde, Ian Whyte and Sarah Woodcock.
Introduction The cultural developments of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries laid the foundations for the radical changes to society and the environment that commenced in the eighteenth century. The world’s first Industrial Revolution produced unprecedented social and environmental change and North West England was at the epicentre of the resultant transformation. Foremost amongst these changes were a radical development of the communications infrastructure, including wholly new forms of transportation, the growth of existing manufacturing and trading towns and the creation of new ones. The period saw the emergence of Liverpool as an international port and trading metropolis, while Manchester grew as a powerhouse for innovation in production, manufacture and transportation. The cultural impact of industrialization was not confined to technological and infrastructural change and the growth of industrial and commercial towns. It also produced specialisation in farming, greater land reclamation, the growth of leisure towns and an unprecedented plethora of manufactured goods both fuelling and meeting the demand of rising consumption (See Barker and Cranstone 2004; Newman 2001). Above all, however, industrial economies transformed a rural society into an urban one with more people in the North West living in towns than in the countryside by the later nineteenth century. The wider impact of industrialization on transforming traditional communities and customary practices as well as the industrialization of the countryside and changing relationships between rural and urban communities are key themes for the period (Walker and Nevell 2003; Nevell and Walker 2004; Newman 2004).
Implicit in any archaeological study of this period is the need to balance the archaeological investigation of material culture, with many other disciplines that bear on our understanding of the recent past. The wealth of archive and documentary sources available for constructing historical narratives in the post-medieval period offer rich opportunities for cross-disciplinary working. At the same time historical archaeology is increasingly in the foreground of new theoretical approaches that bring together economic and sociological analysis, anthropology and geography.
Environment The eighteenth to twentieth centuries witnessed widespread changes within the landscape of the North West, and most of the region was affected in some way by developments in agricultural practice, land management and increased industrialisation. The physical appearance of the landscape was transformed as programmes of land reclamation, enclosure, woodland removal and planting were undertaken, and the urban centres underwent dramatic growth. Environmental degradation caused by industrial activity increased throughout the period.
The final phase of the Little Ice Age in the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century was less cool but seems to have been distinctly wetter. Coastal erosion appears to have been especially destructive during this period with increased storminess, and several settlements around Morecambe Bay are considered to have been lost to the sea at this time. Optical Stimulated Luminescence dating of deposits on the Formby foreshore in Merseyside have revealed a major erosion event in the eighteenth century when surface deposits were removed to reveal underlying sediments (Pye et al 1995). The period was also characterised by some massive flash floods in upland catchments and has been studied in detail for the North Pennines and the Howgills (Harvey et al 1981; Harvey and Chiverrell 2004), but with little work in the Lake District. This period also saw the peak of lead mining and other extractive activities in the northern uplands, leading to problems of valley infill by mining waste, floods due to the bursting of dams providing water for power and washing minerals, damage to lowland pastures and the poisoning of livestock and fish by the process of hushing, and the deposition of material with high heavy metal content in surrounding lowland areas. The sequence and amount of pollution from the growth of industrial processes can be ascertained through analysis of river silts and upland peats but, as yet, such studies have largely been undertaken outside the region (Macklin et al 1992; Coulthard and Macklin 2001; Mighall et al in press). Watercourse pollution from human sewage and other organic waste products became increasingly significant in urban areas during the nineteenth century, with consequences for human health.
During the period, rivers were heavily canalised and new water courses were created, affecting the nature of alluviation and sedimentation in river valleys and estuaries. These were further affected by the construction of reservoirs to serve urban communities from the 1820s and by the intensification of drainage to improve agricultural land.
Agriculture Previous reviews of archaeology and its research agenda in parts of the North West have not examined the potential of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries beyond the realm of industrial archaeology. TheArchaeology of Lancashire (Newman 1996) exemplifies this approach. A similar review of the archaeology of northern England (Brooks et al 2002), which included Cumbria, similarly gave no consideration of the eighteenth century and later beyond the realm of industrial archaeology (Linsley 2002). Yet agricultural change was both a driver behind the rise of an industrial society and subsequently was driven by industrialization. In recent years significant programmes of work have been undertaken in the North West that have examined some of the processes of agrarian landscape change in the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries especially. These have included the English Heritage sponsored North West Wetlands Survey, which catalogued the history of wetland reclamation in the period and Whyte’s recent review of parliamentary enclosure in the region (2003).
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries one of the greatest forces for landscape change in the countryside was parliamentary enclosure. In the North West this occurred from the 1750s until the end of the nineteenth century. Some 483,000 acres were affected in the region, with about 80% of this in Cumbria (Whyte 2003). The impact of parliamentary enclosure has been mapped in Cumbria and to a lesser extent in Lancashire (Ede and Darlington 2002) as part of those county’s HLCs. Unlike Midland and southern England most of the land enclosed by Act of Parliament in the North West, was rough pasture held as common grazing between manorial tenants. . In Cheshire the only example of parliamentary enclosure of open field was 126 acres enclosed at St Mary’s on the Hill in 1805-7 (Phillips 2002a, 54). Aside from upland pasture, much of the land that was affected by parliamentary enclosure in the region was lowland common pasture as in the central Eden Valley (C) or peat moss as in the Fylde (L) and the Lyth Valley (C). Some of this completed earlier processes of reclamation as in Congleton Moss (Ch) (Leah et al 1997, 156). In the Fylde too parliamentary enclosure was only one element in the reclamation of the mosslands, and its characteristic landscapes are often very similar to those produced by enclosure and reclamation brought about without recourse to an Act of Parliament (Middleton 1995; Ede and Darlington 2002, 106-112). The largest single area of parliamentary enclosure in Cheshire was of the former Delamere Forest where 7,652 acres were divided between claimants in 1819 (Phillips 2002a, 54).
Parliamentary enclosure landscapes in the North West, especially in the uplands, are distinguished by a number of common physical characteristics, with local variation according to scale and terrain. The fields are often large, regular, and square or rectangular where possible. Field boundaries, within a specified enclosure area, are of a markedly uniform character whether walls or hedges, with few hedgerow trees but some substantial plantations, often to provide shelter belts. Access roads are straight, though sometimes with sharp right-angled bends, and often very wide. Characteristic features include public quarries for walling and constructing roads, public limekilns, culverts and bridges, watering places for cattle, and turbaries for peat cutting and in one instance at Hutton Roof (C), a public coal mine (Whyte pers comm.). Though comparatively well documented, and an important and widespread feature of our upland and lowland marginal landscapes, the apparent homogeneity of landscapes of parliamentary enclosure is deceptive. The transformation of upland and marginal landscapes did not necessarily obliterate all traces of earlier land use and their uniformity at a broad level hides great diversity at a local level for example in wall and hedge construction between different enclosure areas. Such landscapes are starting to show their age and are at risk from changes in agricultural regime.
Aside from parliamentary enclosure and wetland reclamation, perhaps the greatest impact on the rural landscape during the post-medieval period in the North West was the creation of new and the extension of existing woodland areas. From the eighteenth century onwards, however, large-scale tree planting took place, firstly on the country estates of wealthy landowners and then in the forestry plantations of the twentieth century, helping to form the mixed farming, woodland, and moorland landscapes of the present day. The landscapes of the Lake District exemplify the manipulation of ‘natural’ scenery for the purposes of creating picturesque views using ornamental planting of larch and other species from the mid eighteenth century and for commercial forestry from the 1920s. Research by the National Trust, as at Tarn Haws and Monk Coniston (C), and by the Forestry Commission in the ‘Veteran trees’ recording project, has begun to look at the longevity and archaeology of planting regimes.
Another area of significant regional research has been in the examination of farmsteads through building survey. The former Royal Commission on Historic Monuments’ sample survey of farmsteads dating to 1750 –1914, which used central Cheshire as one of its sample areas, revealed something of the patterning of regional diversity and highlighted the lack of surviving upstanding buildings which predate the mid eighteenth century (Barnwell et al 1997, 146). Much of the surviving fabric in the region dates to the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes excellent examples of industrialized model farmsteads, such as those built by the Senhouse family near Maryport (C). In Cumbria a thematic survey was undertaken for English Heritage (Wade Martin 1999), and the county benefits from the pioneering work of Brunskill (2002), but such work is lacking elsewhere in the region. Conversion of farm buildings as they cease to have a viable agricultural function is a cause of concern and some record survey has taken place through the use of planning conditions. Whilst many of the recording projects lack in-depth analysis of the buildings, and are reported only within the ‘grey literature’, the records produced are capable of being used for synthesis. Programmes of survey, such as Lancashire County Council’s recording of barns before conversion, and the farm building recording begun by Cumbria County Council in 2002, are forming a useful corpus of case studies.
Designed landscapes were often associated with model farms and other forms of agricultural innovation and improvement, as has been indicated at Tatton (Ch) (Higham et al 2002) and this relationship needs further exploration. Another area worthy of examination is the role of country estates as investors in technology. For example, Dunham Massey (Ch) had a sawmill and Lyme Park (Ch) a range of laundry and electricity generating buildings (Marilyn Palmer pers comm.). As at Tatton most studies of designed landscapes, including the many unpublished studies by the National Trust, have been based on the documentary record and the surface examination of earthworks. At Lyme Park, and at Rufford New Hall (L), survey work demonstrated that eighteenth century design plans were not rigorously implemented, but adapted to suit available resources, topography and the needs of the users (LUAU 1996a; Egerton Lea 2002b). Recent limited excavations of a small area of landscaped grounds at Hayton, near Carlisle (CFA 2003) and the work undertaken at Ambleside (Potter and Quartermaine 1999) have shown how useful excavated data can be for interpreting the development of nineteenth century gardens.
Rural settlement Despite settlement development as a result of industrialisation, Yates’ map of Lancashire like the contemporary county maps for Cheshire, Cumberland and Westmorland still depicted large areas of unenclosed moorland and mossland in the late eighteenth century, but these too had been swept away by parliamentary enclosure by the mid-nineteenth century. This was another factor which helped to emphasise the dispersed nature of much of the regional settlement pattern. Where allotments were large, new farmsteads were sometimes erected. The creation of new isolated farms in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century is a feature of both the reclaimed and enclosed wetlands, as in the Lancashire Fylde, and of the enclosed and improved uplands, as at Skelton (C), where 13 new farms were created following the enclosure of 1769 (Whyte 2003, 82). In parts of Greater Manchester and in east Lancashire farm numbers increased during the period. In the Tameside area they rose from 143 to 273 between 1700 and 1850 (Nevell 1993, 80-95).
In Lancashire and Greater Manchester the spread of handloom weaving led to the growth of folds in the eighteenth century, where farm buildings were leased or sold for conversion into cottages and in some cases into loomshops. These are a characteristic settlement type of upland areas, many now subsumed by urban expansion, though still recognisable in suburbs and on urban fringes. Seventeenth and eighteenth-century buildings often survive in them, but most have been heavily modernised. There has been little detailed recording work undertaken, though Rothwell’s industrial heritage surveys (1979a; 1979b; 1979c; 1980a; 1980b; 1981; 1985; 1990) have catalogued some of them. In parts of Greater Manchester the impact of industrialisation on settlement development set within its social context has been examined in Tameside by Nevell and Walker (1998; 1999, 2004). Industrialization within rural areas led to the rise of equally busy but different landscapes away from Manchester and east Lancashire. On Alston Moor (C) the allotting of the mining rights in 1735 was an impetus to rapid population growth (Hey 2000, 205). Smallholdings were viable because of bi-employment in the lead mines and to a lesser extent collieries. Farm buildings were converted into workers cottages, small lean to cabins were built against barns and byres and new farm buildings were erected with upper floor domestic accommodation. These so called farmer-miner landscapes and their buildings characterise much of the northern Yorkshire Dales and the north Pennines but have been little studied archaeologically within the regional boundary particularly in the south.
The region did not only experience an increase in dispersed settlement or the growth of farmsteads into hamlets, but saw the creation of entirely new rural communities usually related some form of industrial activity. These varied in nature from purpose built colonies, such as Abbeystead (L) or Styall Mill (Ch), built at the expense of industrialists (Timmins 2000), to small hamlets developed over successive generations such as Galgate near Lancaster (White 2003; Newman 2004), or individual rows of cottages such as those found associated with coal mining in the north Pennines (Harris 1974). Many of these settlements were small and situated in previously sparsely settled, marginal areas.
The current excavation project centred on Hagg Cottages, Alderley Edge (Ch), is probably unique to the region at the present time (http://www.alderleysandhillsproject.co.uk) in posing questions about the historical archaeology of a rural hamlet. The Cottages were built during the 1740s near the site of the Alderley Edge copper and lead mines and were occupied by the Alderley Edge Mining Company's workers in the late nineteenth century, and were subsequently demolished in the 1950s. The excavation revealed a number of floor surfaces used in the cottages from sandstone flagging through to linoleum. One of the cottages went through a series of alterations, adaptations and re-orientation which reflected the changing social and economic status of its occupants during the period of the Industrial Revolution. Analysis of the recovered ceramics, building materials, glass, clay tobacco pipes, metals, coins, plastics, slag and charcoal, textiles and leather, bone and floor coverings is ongoing.
Both enclosure and industrialisation not only created new settlements but in some cases had a depopulating effect on existing settlements. Indeed in the North West many of the presumed medieval settlement earthworks appear to be the result of post-medieval settlement shrinkage, as has been noted for other areas like the East Riding of Yorkshire (Neave 1993). Enclosure is well known to have depopulated some nucleated settlements as farms moved out from them to be surrounded by their enclosed fields. In Cartmel parish (C) enclosure of the wastes is claimed to have depopulated townships through its adverse impact on smallholders and cottagers (Whyte 2003, 91 A more significant likely factor in widespread rural depopulation, however was farm amalgamation and the migration of population away from farming areas to industrialising areas. Darlington’s recently published (2003), primarily documentary-based, examination of some Lancashire deserted or shrunken settlements highlights this. At Stock the shrinkage of the nucleated settlement in the early nineteenth century seems to have been occasioned by the growth of weaving and consequent settlement expansion in the nearby town of Barnoldswick (Darlington 2003, 80-1). Another example of rural depopulation possibly caused by the attraction of industrial work elsewhere may have been the excavated toft at Church Brough (C), which was probably deserted in the late eighteenth century (Jones 1989). Other factors which led to the post medieval desertion or shrinkage of settlements include late eighteenth and early nineteenth century emparking as at Rufford (L) and Tatton (Ch), and the failure of some farms which colonised the upland waste following parliamentary enclosure (Whyte 2003, 84). At Haslingden Grane (L) the hamlet was gradually abandoned in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in response to the flooding of its farmlands for reservoirs, and the move to remove cattle from water catchment areas (Darlington 2003).
The water gathering grounds for the various corporation water boards were systematically cleared of settlement in the early twentieth century in the Forest of Bowland (LUAU 1997), Clitheroe and the Sabden Valley (L). A similar fate befell settlements in parts of the Lake District, notably for the impounding schemes at Thirlmere (1890-04) and Haweswater (1929-36) where, for example, the remains of the village of Mardale Green submerged in 1935 are still visible at times of low water level. At Holcombe Moor (GM) the farms against the head dyke wall were abandoned in the early twentieth century as a result of the Government’s acquisition of the Holcombe valley and part of the Moor as a military training area (Egerton Lea 2001a). Watergrove in Greater Manchester was likewise depopulated in the 1930s and preserved datestones ranging from 1699 to 1778 were built into the reservoir storm wall. Archaeological excavations in the 1990s of the farmsteads, one of which dated back to the medieval period, led to a pioneering survey of relict industrial landscapes (GMAU 1990). The building of the reservoirs also created new temporary settlements in the form of navvy camps, usually self contained settlements equipped with their own shops, pubs and even cinemas (Morris 1994).
Overall industrialisation and enclosure encouraged the growth of dispersed settlement patterns in areas previously not permanently or only lightly settled, whilst causing settlement shrinkage in already settled areas. Consequently the rural landscape of the later nineteenth century had a greater degree of dispersion than it did in the early eighteenth century. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the wetlands new farms appeared in previously uncultivated areas, while the uplands experienced new settlement genesis, growth and abandonment.
The Urban Landscape The later eighteenth to twentieth centuries witnessed radical changes in urban settlement that were unprecedented in scale and speed of transformation. Yet surprisingly this phenomenon of urbanisation and industrialisation has been little studied from an archaeological perspective. Archaeological approaches used in the researching Roman and medieval urbanism can bring new interpretations to industrial period urban histories and may present new insights in the examination of the material culture of well-documented eighteenth to twentieth century urban contexts. The North West is taking the lead on the study of the urban archaeology between 1700 and 1914 especially, and a number of new research directions are being pioneered which look at the archaeology of the new towns of the Industrial Revolution.
The extensive urban survey (EUS) projects have revealed considerable elements of similarity and continuity in eighteenth and nineteenth century towns in the region, whilst at the same time revealing distinctiveness in individual and groups of towns that is specific in time and to location. By the end of the nineteenth century there was a great variety in urban development which is reflected archaeologically in the standing buildings and street patterns of these settlements. All of the urban centres of the seventeenth century saw growth in terms of physical area and population during this period. However, there emerged a clear ranking within the region. At the top were those settlements that expanded to become cities of national and international importance, such as Liverpool and Manchester. Below these were the provincial centres of Chester and Preston, followed by the industrial and market centres such as Blackburn, Carlisle, Kendal, Lancaster, and Wigan. Liverpool and Manchester each developed a series of ancillary satellite industrial towns such as St Helens, Widnes, Bolton and Ashton under Lyne or dormitory suburbs such as Sale. Below these were local market centres such as Altrincham and Nantwich. The period also saw the establishment of new types of urban settlement, often focused on one industry. Thus Birkenhead grew up around ship building, Burnley, Hyde, Bolton, Rochdale and Stockport became the new manufacturing towns of the cotton industry, Crewe grew around the railway industry and Barrow around iron. In addition resort towns like Blackpool, Morecambe and Southport developed to meet the leisure demands of the growing population of industrial workers
Trinder (2002) has shown that market towns did not suddenly become industrial towns, but had legacies from the past and continuing functions in the industrial period that differentiated them from the largest villages in their hinterlands. Features included the possession of trading rights, with the market place being the physical representation of these and the continuation of small scale craft industries. Many of these did not require specialist premises whilst others, like tanning and brewing did, but were not new institutions. Thus market towns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries epitomise continuity in the industrial period and Garstang (L) is a typical example of such a town. Trinder’s approach to market towns can be applied, as he has suggested, to other types of urban settlement in the North West, and has been successfully used by Mathews in Chester (2003). There the mixture of the domestic and the industrial, often at a small scale, has been examined. From this Matthews has proposed a study of the urban fabric of the nineteenth and twentieth century town through the interpretive medium of the archaeology of work (2003) which brings a much needed human dimension to the study of urban material remains.
During the nineteenth century more people came to live and work in towns than in the countryside. Already in 1801 45% of historic Lancashire’s population lived and worked in the towns, and 24% lived in just two urban locations, Liverpool and Manchester. In the same year around 28% of Cheshire’s population was living in towns (Phillips and Smith 1994, 135-6). By the middle of the nineteenth century much of the North West could be said to have become an urban-based manufacturing society. This urbanisation process continued throughout the rest of the nineteenth century so that by 1891 almost 90% of Lancashire’s population was living in towns and cities, and 80% of Cheshire’s (Phillips and Phillips 2002, 44-5). This is reflected archaeologically in the physical growth of the towns of North West England and in the new urban infrastructure and housing needed to maintain these greatly enlarged settlements.
Proto-industrialised urban communities are recognisable more through the general historic character of an area than by individual monument types. Consequently, thematic and topographical studies have been particularly useful in identifying this urban form. Studies such as those of Timmins (1977) looking at handloom weaver’s colonies have been especially useful as these formed important areas of distinctive eighteenth century growth in many of the towns of Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Hand loom weavers cottages epitomise proto-industrial society. A topographical study of the Northern Quarter in Manchester has shown how urban areas developed in the eighteenth century in response to industrial development; often at a cottage industry level (McNeil and Nevell 2000, English Heritage 2003). The quarter consists of a mix of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings including middle-class and workers housing, cellar dwellings, loomshops, warehouses and small factories, dating from the eighteenth century through to the twentieth century. This survival of topography, streetscape and buildings, which is repeated in a number of urban areas throughout the North West is both nationally rare and vulnerable. Conservation-based research is essential to protect this fragile resource.
In the 200 years following the late seventeenth century, towns underwent many complex and interlocking changes, creating a variety of transformations in their size, physical form, economic role and political, social and cultural significance. These did not all happen together and there was considerable intra-regional variation in both the timing and process of change. One of the most important factors, however, was accessibility through communications networks. The planned new towns of the nineteenth century like Barrow, Fleetwood and Morecambe were established because of their coastal location and potential for the development of port facilities. In a period when water was the only viable means of transporting large bulk cargoes access to it was a major factor in the stimulation of urban growth. This also led to the foundation of Port Carlisle, connected to its parent city by canal and later railway. As Trinder has pointed out one of the common factors in all towns is that they were affected by developments in transport (2002). Thus canals and railways and their associated features are key monument characteristics in the fabric of the industrial town and city. Nowhere was the impact of canals more significant in terms of urbanisation than in Manchester. Canal building in Britain is marked at its beginning and at its end by two major engineering works both from the Manchester area. In the 1760s the Bridgewater Canal heralded the birth of the industrial canal and led to the development of a national canal network, whilst the building of the Ship Canal in 1894 marked the final flourish of industrialised water transport.
Manchester a regional metropolis
The completion of the Bridgewater Canal in 1765 enabled Manchester to develop as an inland port and provided it with improved access to raw materials and outlets for its products. The first major arterial canal, crossing valleys with the aid of aqueducts, cuttings, embankments and tunnels, the Bridgewater Canal was a significant engineering achievement and has made an enduring impact on the landscape. The Manchester terminus – the Castlefield Basin which is characterised by its warehouses pierced by bargeholes for covered loading – was where trans-shipment was pioneered and became a model for canal building across the country (Falconer 2002; Nevell and Walker 2001). The canal opened a new era of inland navigation and within a short period Manchester was a nodal point within a network of canals across England and Wales. Sixty years later, with the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830, the North West had the first inter-city passenger railway.
Manchester was thus at the centre of the transport revolutions of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The urban expansion this facilitated can be readily traced on eighteenth and nineteenth century maps. Manchester was known by contemporaries as ‘Cottonopolis’ and has also been described as a ‘citadel to commerce’. Its architectural legacy from this period exemplifies the exceptional scale, ingenuity and enterprise of the era. A recent assessment of the City of Manchester’s post medieval and industrial archaeology illustrates the concentration of survey and investigation on its history of urbanisation and industrialization. Over 140 ‘grey literature’ reports, of which 95 are building survey reports reflect both the level of response to the impact of change on the City’s post-medieval fabric and the necessary focus on building archaeology. This stands in stark contrast to the relatively low level of archaeological response in other major industrial and commercial urban areas in the North West.
By the end of the eighteenth century, when the cotton trade expanded, Manchester emerged as the centre of the first power-driven factory system and of the cotton manufacturing industry in Britain. Little of this first industrial town survives, but the area around Kelvin Street, the modern Northern Quarter, with its three storey workshop dwellings built between 1750 and 1800 for cotton spinners and weavers has been a focus for study (McNeil and Nevell 2000). Such structures provide a physical link between the early woollen and linen town and the later cotton spinning city. An important element of this first textile manufacturing town was textile finishing, of which there were 18 enterprises by 1800, making the town the largest textile finishing centre in Britain. Why and how this activity moved from London to the North West has yet to be studied. Nor have any of these sites been investigated archaeologically.
The mill complexes of Ancoats provide a spectacular illustration of urban industrial architecture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Ancoats was laid out as part of a planned expansion of Manchester in anticipation of the arrival of the Rochdale canal, and contains a notable grouping of early mills, whose architecture, design, fireproofing, innovations and improvements in processes span the Industrial Revolution (Williams with Farnie 1992). The development of Ancoats as a steam-powered mixed industrial suburb is the subject of a recent investigation of part of the route of the Rochdale Canal. Survey and excavation has examined canal arrangements, Murray’s Mills and two glass production sites, revealing the influence of changing technology on industrial organization within an urban area (Miller pers. comm.).
In 1830 the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was built terminating at Liverpool Road Station. This has the distinction of being the oldest surviving railway station in the world and pioneered separate facilities for different classes of passenger. The terminus includes the impressive 1830 warehouse, which was has been recorded archaeologically (Greene 1995), revealing how the warehouse was influenced in its design by earlier canal warehousing (Nevell and Walker 2001). As the railway network around the city developed and the cotton mills expanded, so Manchester became a centre of engineering. Large numbers of foundries and engineering firms were created and examples can still be found in surrounding districts such as Gorton, Newton Heath and Openshaw.
Manchester’s dominance as a financial and commercial centre in the second half of the nineteenth century is reflected in its imposing commercial and civic architecture (Hartwell 2001) but it is its textile warehouses that provide the distinctive element in its streetscape and make it unlike any other city in England. As early as 1806 there were 1,182 warehouse units and by 1815 there were 1,819. The commercial quarter, ‘warehouse city’, with its fine collection of buildings based on Renaissance palaces occupies a square mile of the modern city. At first these were concentrated around King Street but by 1850 they had spread to Portland Street and by the early twentieth century to Whitworth Street. Notable buildings include the range of warehouses along Charlotte Street, those of Princess Streets, Watts warehouse, and the appropriately imperial scale packing warehouses of Whitworth Street. This is arguably the finest expression of a Victorian commercial centre in Britain (McNeil and George 1997; Hartwell 2001; English Heritage 2002b).
The manufacturing towns
In Cheshire canals facilitated the development of a chemicals industry leading to the growth of the new industrial towns of Winsford, Widnes and Runcorn. Elsewhere in later eighteenth century Cheshire the growth of early factory-based textile production led to the expansion of Congleton, Macclesfield, Sandbach and Warrington. Other than the Cheshire EUS, archaeological examination of these towns has been limited with the most important contribution being the former RCHME survey of east Cheshire’s textile mills (Calladine and Fricker 1993).
From the late eighteenth century onwards, the growth of the cotton industry in east Lancashire and Greater Manchester led to the rapid growth and development of some existing towns such as Ashton-under-Lyne, Blackburn, Bolton, Bury and Rochdale. Yates’ county map of old Lancashire (1786) shows these new manufacturing towns and the burgeoning cities of Manchester and Salford. Urban development was limited away from Manchester, however, until the arrival of the railway in the mid-nineteenth century. This led to the development of new towns, such as Accrington, Bacup and Nelson. The majority of Lancashire’s new towns in the nineteenth century developed organically from existing non-urban or proto-urban centres as at Burnley (Egerton Lea 2002a). The railway not only stimulated industry, especially textiles weaving and engineering, which led to urban growth, but also stimulated the development of towns that were reliant on the railway as their principal industry; the most notable example of which is Crewe (Crosby 1996, 16).
As in Cheshire, beyond the EUS, archaeological work on industrial towns in Lancashire has been limited, although the industrial fabric of many of east Lancashire’s towns has been identified and catalogued in Rothwell’s useful gazetteers (1979a; 1979b; 1979c; 1980a; 1980b; 1981; 1985; 1990). Below-ground archaeological interventions have occurred only in Blackburn and Preston. Beyond Timmins work on handloom weavers’ cottages and some detailed case studies such as in Atherton (GM) (Morgan 1998), there has been some limited standing building survey, most notably English Heritage’s survey of textile mills in Pendle district (Taylor 2000) and a number of more detailed individual mill surveys by the RCHME in Nelson. Other than Ashmore’s study of Low Moor (a mill hamlet to the west of Clitheroe), the only significant archaeological study of a single community’s built character has been English Heritage’s study of Nelson (Wray 2001). This latter review is especially important as it is the only detailed study of one of the most significant characteristics of these towns, the later nineteenth century terraced house. The only detailed below-ground investigation of nineteenth century living conditions in the North West has been in Chester, where Matthew’s excavation of a mid nineteenth century court stands as a seminal example of archaeological research into lower-class urban housing. In Greater Manchester the outline development of the growth of the manufacturing towns has been discussed by the pioneering work of Douglas Farnie (1979) and later in works on Stockport (Arrowsmith 1997), Saddleworth (Smith 1987) and notably Tameside (Nevell and Walker 1998; 1999; 2001). Yet a detailed research programme which looks at the urban development of the cotton towns of Greater Manchester is long overdue. Similarly, beyond largely social histories such as that for Cleator Moor (Marshall 1978) and architectural studies in Barrow (Roberts 1977) and the recent excavation of part of its ironworks, no survey work has been carried out on nineteenth-century urban fabric and the development of the manufacturing towns of west Cumbria.
The nineteenth-century towns produced a series of new monument types, often linked in to the appearance of grid-iron planned areas of terraced housing. The corner shop and urban public houses are two distinctive new types of feature in the urban fabric. Public houses often exhibited particular architectural characteristics distinctive of individual towns. A comparison of late nineteenth-century public houses in Manchester and Liverpool, noted the smaller size of Manchester’s surviving public houses because most of them originated as beer houses (Mutch 2003). In the coastal resorts, especially in Blackpool, early hotels were established and in the nineteenth century an entirely new building type, the boarding house, developed with its own distinctive architectural style (Egerton Lea 2003). The railway hotel was another new archaeological monument associated with railways and urban growth. A notably good examples is the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood, further good examples of this genre can be found at Chester and Manchester and as individual examples in towns like Carnforth. The impact of railways on urban fabric is an area of fruitful research (Gwyn 2002), for example in Blackburn the arrival of the railway caused a wholesale replanning of the town centre (LUAU 1999).
Railways and resorts
The growth of industrial towns led to the growth of minor coastal resorts into seaside towns (Newman 2001, 160). It was impossible for these resorts to grow into urban centres, however, until the arrival of the railways facilitated the advent of mass tourism. In some cases, such as Morecambe West End, the railway companies were speculative developers within the town (Egerton Lea 2004a). In Cheshire inland and coastal resorts like Knutsford, Wilmslow, Parkgate and Neston would not have developed as fashionable centres or resorts without the benefit of the railway linking them to major conurbations. Similarly, Bowness-on-Windermere and Keswick (C) were transformed by rail and steamer links that from 1847 connected them with the populations of Barrow and Manchester. Furness Abbey became the first heritage attraction in Britain, possibly in Europe, with its own railway station (Marshall and Walton 1981).
Some coastal resorts, like Blackpool, grew in an unplanned manner; others like St Annes and Morecambe were planned. Fleetwood is the region’s finest example of a planned seaside town. Developed in the 1830s by the lord of the manor, Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, it was intended to enrich him through its development as a tourist resort and port. Instead it almost bankrupted him but not before his architect, Decimus Burton, had laid out the foundations of a planned town on classical lines complete with an abundance of Grecian-style architecture (Egerton Lea 2002b). An important type-site for the late development of classical architecture and as an example of early nineteenth-century urban planning, Fleetwood still lacks a detailed analysis of its development and only limited work has been undertaken to record and document its earliest buildings. Beyond those studied in the Lancashire EUS the other seaside resorts have been little examined archaeologically, though the pier at Southport was the subject of recording (LUAU ??). Yet the resorts featured entirely new monument classes like piers, bazaars, the coastal promenade and new forms of pleasure grounds. Blackpool Pleasure Beach preserves classic examples of the earliest pleasure rides now surviving in Britain such as Maxim’s Flying Machine from 1904, Noah’s Ark, 1922 and Emberton’s Grand National of 1935 (Bennett 1996). These have only been recorded photographically. The coastal resorts continued to grow and thrive throughout the inter-war years of the twentieth century at a time when most of the manufacturing towns slipped into depression and decline.