The Urbanist

1891: Victorian London

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18 February 2016

Episode 227

30 minutes


Photo: Gareth Williams

We head back in time to find out how different London looked in 1891 and go through some of the city’s achievements to get a glimpse of what life was like in the capital. We explore the architectural legacy of Victorian London, see how the introduction of the railway changed the city and chat about Charles Booth’s pioneering study into Victorian Londoners’ quality of life. Plus: we take a tour around the country’s first council estate.

18 February 2016

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Chapter 1

6 minutes


Photo: Herry Lawford

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Chapter 1

What did Victorian London look like?

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London is a modern, cosmopolitan and thriving capital – with the latest census revealing that two thirds of the country’s population are urbanised, with one seventh living in London. We chat about the architecture of the bygone era with Alex Werner, head of history collections at the Museum of London.

6 minutes

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Chapter 2

8 minutes


Photo: GlynLowe

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Chapter 2

Who were the Londoners of the 1800s?

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Who were the Victorian Londoners and how did they live in the city? Victorian social historian Lee Jackson sits down with Tom Edwards to discuss Victorian city-dwellers.

8 minutes

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Chapter 3

8 minutes

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Chapter 3

Victorian quality of life

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Quality of life in our cities is something we care deeply about on The Urbanist. We examine the first ever enquiry into the conditions of life and labour in London and discuss the pioneering study by Charles Booth, the first person to put the social geography of the city on a map.

8 minutes

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Chapter 4

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

Boundary Estate: the UK’s first council estate

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Charles Booth’s work paved the way for the creation of the country’s first council estate. We head east and take a tour of the grounds.

7 minutes

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