Parish Row - Shrivenham - a Village Slum
Picture 1 that is attached to this listing is a section cut from the Barrington Estate map of 1866. The next picture puts it in to context as to where it is located wihin the village of Shrivenham. The Church will be the key to understanding the location. A newspaper article was printed in 1860 concerning a speech that was made after a dinner at the Faringdon Agricultural Library. The point being made was about agricultural workers and overcrowding. A long list of villages within the Faringdon Union was read out, and below are the two for Watchfield and Shrivenham:
Watchfield. A father and three daughters sleep in one room on ground floor; seven persons in a two-roomed cottage of whom two are lodgers, sleeping in the pantry; a father sleeping with his daughter, 17 years of age, and the wife in another bed.
Shrivenham. Six cottages, having 35 inmates sleeping in six bedrooms, some of them grown-up sons and daughters, only one privy for the whole and that in a bad state.
Whereas we have not yet been able to pinpoint the Watchfield reference we have located the six cottages in Shrivenham. When looking at picture 1, you may find it hard to believe that the six little squares in a row are what the statement above refers to. The cottages could have been little more than wooden sheds and yet, in 1860, 35 people were living and sleeping within them. The next two photos show the scars on the wall and the relative tiny space that the buildings stood within.
The name, 'Parish Row' was given to the site in the census of 1891, but by that time conditions had got better and there were only 12 people living there. It's hard to imagine living in such cramped and squalid conditions. In this part of Shrivenham in the middle of the 19th century, was certainly not, 'the good old days.'
If you would like to read a full account of the conditions that workers lived in within the villages that made up the Faringdon Union, please go HERE
Do you know?
We are always on the look-out for more information about Shrivenham and district. If you have old photos, know of historical facts, old documents (especially deeds) please contact us...
If you would like to view any item please visit the centre on Tuesdays & Thursdays between 10 am - 12 noon. We can also open outside of these hours with prior arrangement.