HOUSES YESTERDAY IN UK

As you can easily imagine there was no electricity, no running water or central heating in the houses of the past, except for wealthy people. Most people still used candles or oil lamps, a coal cooker. Toilets were outside. And, of course, there was no need to have garage (on the left and right you can see Charles' Dickens house in London).

During Queen Victoria's reign, the Industrial Revolution took place: most people moved to towns to find work in factories. Row of poor quality terraced slums sprang up around the factories to house them. Sanitary conditions were often very poor. Only the rich could afford proper toilet facilities. The poor had to share a communal lavatory, usually just a shed over a hole in the ground treated with quicklime to dissolve effluent. The wealthy people, instead, lived in confortable and elegant buildings, you can still see in London. New technology and mass-production brought gradually labour-saving devices. The rich could also retain some servants. Country life was different. Although many of those who worked in the country still lived in the primitive, one- roomed cottages, living conditions and sanitations were much better than in town slums. These cottages were often thatched houses. Moreover new machinery started to improve the efficiency and profitability of many farms. In the space of a few years, the heavy horses became obsolete.

Now read a beautiful description of a true old English house: here is Valentina's mother, who is English, remembering her grandmother's house!

Have a look to Charles Dickens' House Museum in London
http://www.rmplc.co.uk/orgs/dickens/DHM/DHM2/index.html

or to an interesting reconstruction of the life in an English village in the early 20th century:
http://education.ntu.ac.uk/resources/ict_resources/clifvillprog/

Here an English family lived in a Victorian house for three months: look at their house, watch movies and listen their voices... it was like a "Big Brother" programme in a historical contest: www.pbs.org/wnet/1900house