Bradford's Industrial Revolution

Social Improvement, Civic Pride

We think of Victorian cities as filthy places, riddled with poverty and disease.  Indeed, the human cost of Bradford's rapid growth from a country town to industrial giant was enormous. Most ordinary people suffered dire living and working conditions. It was clear that the physical, social and moral environment had to be improved.


As the 19th Century progressed, many great developments improved the health and well-being of city dwellers. By the mid-century town councils were established in newly developing industrial cities, with the power to bring about these much-needed changes. Bradford became a Municipal Borough in 1847.


A real sense of civic pride emerged - people saw their city as a symbol of a confident and prosperous society. This pride can still be detected in the grand architecture, statues, theatres, art gallery and public squares of Bradford city centre.


The information page -  'Social Improvement and Civic Pride - City Hall and Undercliffe Cemetery' in the worksheets section (see link below) looks at the changes in the city developments to improve living and working conditions, and the construction of City Hall and Undercliffe Cemetery.

Map View of Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford»

Document icon Learning article provided by: Bradford Industrial Museum | 
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