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The 1851 census in Knaresborough coincided with railway construction in the area. It records a that farm labourer's cottage occupied by couple and their 4 children, was also home to 19 navvies and their dependants including 4 married couples and three children. It was common for 4 or 5 people to share the typical 10 foot square bedroom. Some families tried to make arrangements for men to sleep in one cottage and women in another but this was not always possible.

Reference: Hylton, Stuart. The Grand Experiment : The Birth of the Railway Age 1820-1845 (Hersham, Ian Allen, 2007)

 

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