Housing

1. Did the population development lead to certain housing problems?

With the advent of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825, terraced housing was built towards the station and railway works on North Road. Development of the railway to the north and south, and the coming of the iron and engineering industries to the Skerne Valley, took terraced housing to Albert Hill, Bank Top and Eastbourne. By mid century, the plots of land behind High Row and Skinnergate, Tubwell Row, Bondgate and Northgate had been filled up as overcrowded courts and yards. These courts and yards were packed full of filth and disease, ordinary people living alongside rowdy public houses, slaughter houses and pigs!


2. Which kinds of housing (for workers) were common (eg purpose built estates, rented flats, older houses)?

The most common kind of house for workers was the terraced house.


Darlington terraces


3. What were the characteristics of these kinds of housing?

Terraced housed were built in uniform rows. They were identical and often built in a hurry. Those nearest the river would be susceptible to flooding.


4. What were the typical problems of life in the workers' houses?

The houses were not always well-constructed, adequately drained or supplied with mains water. Those nearest to the trains had to put up with soot-grimed windows and incessant noise.


5. Were there any houses built by companies for their workers and, if so, what were their advantages and disadvantages?

The South Durham Iron Company (founded in 1854) built 11 cottages on Cleveland Street. In their day, they were model dwellings, boasting of running water and gaslight. Advantages included being close to the place of work. Disadvantages included losing the house if a workman lost his job.