KEY STAGE 3                National Curriculum History
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KEY STAGE 3 National Curriculum History. BRITAIN 1750-1900 INTERACTIVE. How and why did Britain change between 1750 and 1900?. The Domestic System The Three Main Woollen Areas. THE DOMESTIC SYSTEM

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KEY STAGE 3 National Curriculum History




How and why did Britain change between 1750 and 1900?

The Domestic System

The Three Main Woollen Areas


Everyone had to wear clothes so plenty of cloth was needed. The Domestic System had operated for hundreds of years using small, hand operated machines. However, the amount of cloth produced in the Domestic System was limited. By 1700, there were some challenges to the woollen industry as more cotton fibres arrived from America and the Far East.

 Britain’s main industry was sheep farming.

 A clothier [wool tradesman] buys the wool.

 Wool was sheared from sheep, washed and clean.

The Domestic


The West Riding of Yorkshire

 The wool was taken to the homes of local villagers.

 After the cloth was dried, it was dyed in different colours.

East Anglia


The South West


 Men would weave the yarn into cloth using a hand loom.

 Children carded the wool and women would then spin it into a yarn.

 The cloth would be bleached in sour milk. This was called fulling.



Key Stage 3 History Britain 1750-1900 Interactive

Factory Conditions

Child Labour

Factory Conditions

Many of the early textile factories employed large numbers of children. This was not surprising as children had always worked in the Domestic System. Some of the factory children were apprentices. These children were often orphans, who were sent to the factories from the large towns. Factory owners built houses for them near the factory. Other children came form the local area.

Windows were small so there was little ventilation. Factories were very hot in the Summer.

Children were sometimes hit with a strap to make them work faster.

Scavengers had to pick up the loose cotton from under the machinery. This was extremely dangerous as the children were expected to carry out the task while the machine was still working.

The overseer’s job was to make sure workers worked at full pace all the time.

The constant noise from the machines damaged hearing.

Machinery was not always fenced off and workers would be exposed to the moving parts while they worked.

Two tired children. They worked very long hours.


Key Stage 3 History Britain 1750-1900 Interactive

A Bell Pit Mine

A Bell Pit was where a shallow shaft was sunk and then dug around until it resembled a bell in shape.

An Adit Mine

Coal Mining

There had been coalmines in Britain since Roman times but production was small and mainly for domestic use. Miners used two main methods of mining the coal: Bell Pits and Adit Mines. By 1800, the demand for coal increased. Mine owners had to find better ways of extracting more coal.

The Adit Mine was used where the coal seam was near the surface of the ground.

Packhorses to carry coal away

Coal seam

Coal seam


Key Stage 3 History Britain 1750-1900 Interactive

Cross-section of a John Macadam road

Road Building

John Macadam

Surface camber allowed water to drain off.

John Macadam introduced a cambered watertight surface of broken small stones or gravel rammed hard to prevent disintegration by frost. Macadam’s roads needed less foundation than Telford’s roads and therefore were widely used by Turnpike Trusts.

Layer of gravel.

John Macadam was born in Scotland and is probably the best known of the all the road engineers. His roads made quicker and more comfortable stage-coach journeys possible.

Parallel drainage ditches.


Broken stones, 8 inch layer.


Key Stage 3 History Britain 1750-1900 Interactive