Two-Up, Two-Down

Until the late 1960s, most houses in cotton milling towns were “two-up, two-down” terraced houses.  They were built by private developers during the nineteenth century to house the region’s rapidly expanding workforce.  Mill and factory workers needed cheap accommodation and property developers built rows of low cost houses close to the mills and the factories to rent out for profit.

Before the 1870s, there were few building regulations and the quality of housing varied greatly.  Some developers provided well built houses.  Others skimped wherever possible and provided poor drainage, shared toilet facilities and cramped accommodation.

Typically, the houses had a parlour and kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.  The toilet, or privy, was outside in the backyard.  The parlour was kept for special occasions.  It also served as a dining room and general living room.  The kitchen cooking range was the most important feature.  It provided a fire for cooking on, an oven and was the main source of heating for the house.

Wharf Street, Dukinfield