19th century

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Review – A Flight of Figureheads

At The Box, in Plymouth, 14 colourful giants wait to greet visitors to this new museum (at time of writing, its COVID-delayed opening had been rescheduled to 29 September). Depicting monarchs, mythological beings, and more abstract concepts, these figureheads once graced the bows of 19th-century Royal Navy warships, providing a physical representation of the ships’ names.

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INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, AND THE URBAN POOR

In the early 18th century, Avon Street was built to accommodate wealthy visitors to Bath’s fashionable spa waters. Within half a century, though, the area had degenerated into a notorious slum and red-light district. What have recent excavations revealed about the lives of its impoverished inhabitants?

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Urban insights at Leeds’ Tetley’s Brewery

Excavations on the site of Tetley’s Brewery in Leeds have revealed intriguing insights into the 18th- and 19th-century development of the city. Carried out by Archaeological Services WYAS, the investigation explored buildings along Hunslet Lane, including the location of the Scarborough Castle Inn, adjacent shops, and a side street known as South Terrace.

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Shipwreck found at Pensarn Beach

Extreme weather has exposed the wreck of a ship, believed to have sunk 150 years ago off the coast of North Wales. Storms in July at Pensarn Beach, Abergele, removed the sandbanks covering the wreck, revealing the ship lying on its keel near a tidal pond in an area known as ‘Abergele Roads’. The lower […]

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Review – Nineteenth Century Childhoods

When we think about Victorian childhood, we probably conjure up images of ragged Dickensian street urchins, strict educations, and children seen and not heard. As we might expect, though – and as demonstrated in this book – the reality was far more varied and interesting.

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Exploring the lives of London’s 19th-century poor

A cemetery excavated on the site of New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms, near Battersea, is illuminating the lives of some of 19th-century London’s poorest inhabitants. The investigation, which uncovered nearly 100 burials, was carried out by Wessex Archaeology as part of modernisation work on the site by the VINCI St Modwen, in partnership with the Covent Garden Market Authority.

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Review – Humble Works for Humble People: a history of the fishery piers of County Galway and North Clare, 1800-1922

Humble Works for Humble People is a study of the structures associated with Galway and North Clare’s fishing industry: from ‘artisanal’ piers and slips to larger, more sophisticated ship and boat quays – built in large numbers from the early 19th century. It details the effects of wider, as well as more local, historical events on fishing and traditional occupations in the west of Ireland.