Babbage Report, Haworth, 1850
PUBLIC HEALTH ACT (11 and 12 Vict., Cap. 63.) ____________________ Report to the General Board of Health, on a Preliminary Inquiry into the Sewerage, Drainage, and Supply, of Water, and the Sanitary Condition of the Inhabitants of the Hamlet of HAWORTH, in the West Riding of the County of York. By BENJAMIN HERSCHEL BABBAGE, Superintending Inspector.
Notting Hill, 3rd May, 1850.
MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,
A PETITION of the following tenor having been put into my hands with your instructions to visit the hamlet of Haworth and report thereon, I proceeded thither upon the 2nd of last month for that purpose.
" PETITION of The Inhabitants of the Hamlet of Haworth.
Haworth near Keighley, Yorkshire, October 9, 1849.
" BEING much in need of a sufficient supply of pure and whole some water, and being hitherto unable to get it,—-Now therefore, we, the undersigned inhabitants of the hamlet of Haworth, in the township of Haworth, in the parish of Bradford, Yorkshire, and rated to the relief of the poor of and within that chapelry or district, and being one- tenth, or more, in number of the inhabitants rated to the relief of the poor of and within the same chapelry or district, do hereby petition the General Board of Health to direct a Superintending Inspector to visit the said chapelry or district, and to make inquiry and examination with respect thereto, with a view to the application of the said Act, according to the provisions of the said Act in that behalf."
Here follow 222 signatures.
Upon the 4th of April I opened my inquiry in the vestry of the parish church, but was obliged to adjourn it to the national school room, in consequence of the large attendance of persons interested in the inquiry. After the meeting I proceeded to make an inspection of all parts of the hamlet, which I continued during the following day, and upon the third day I concluded my inquiry by holding a final public meeting of the inhabitants.
I am happy to say that all classes appeared to take much interest in the inquiry, and to be sincerely anxious for the application of the Act.
The following gentlemen assisted at the inquiry: the Rev. Patrick Bronte, Incumbent; Joseph Greenwood, Esq., J.P.; Geo. Spencer, Esq., Clerk to the Guardians; Edward South Hall, Esq., Surgeon; and Messrs. Thomas, Hudson, Driver, Hartley, Redman, Brown, Roper, Murgatroyd, Kay, Lambert, Wright, Ingham. Turner, &c. &c.
I think it due to Mr. Joseph Redman, the parish clerk, to state that he had prepared sections and obtained other information connected with the question of the supply of water, and that his evidence upon this point was very valuable; he was also kind enough to accompany me during my personal inspection of the hamlet, and to point out upon the spot the direction of the existing drains.
The Rev. Grant, incumbent of Far and Near Oxenhope, came to the opening meeting, and stated that many parts of those hamlets were periodically visited by typhus fever, and that many nuisances existed which could not be effectually suppressed under the Nuisances Removal Act; and he asked whether these hamlets could not be included within the new district to be formed for the application of the Public Health Act. I replied that these hamlets not having been included in the petition to the Board, my instructions did not allow me to make inquiry into their sanitary condition, but that I would take his statement into consideration in determining the boundaries of the district, and lay the same before the Board.
Having thus pointed out the origin of my inquiry, and the circircumstances attending it, I now beg leave to Submit for the consideration of the Board the following Report.
TOPOGRAPHICAL AND GEOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION. —The hamlet of Haworth consists of a large village and rural district, forming part of the chapelry of Haworth, in the parish of Bradford, in the west riding of the county of York, The face of the country around Haworth is very hilly and bleak, as there are but few trees to arrest the wintry, winds. The village, or town of Haworth as the inhabitants style it, is high up upon the hillside, and is very much exposed to the wind. At a few hundred yards above the village a very extensive tract of moorland commences, which extends far and wide to the southwest, with nothing to relieve the unbroken surface of bog and peat, excepting at the end next to Haworth, where huge hollows and vast spoil heaps, mark the spots at which it has been very extensively worked for flagstones and ashlar blocks. The Penistone quarries, as they are called, furnish employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants of Haworth, both in quarrying the rock, and in hauling the stone to all parts of the surrounding country.
The town of Haworth consists chiefly of one long street, stretching up the hill for nearly three quarters of a mile in a northeasterly direction. At; the lower end the houses are very straggling; proceeding higher up, a long continuous row of houses is met with upon the upper side of the road, which now becomes very steep, until at the top of this row the most thickly inhabited portion of the town is arrived at. Here the main road separates into two others, running off. at an acute angle, viz., the Colne road winch coasts the brow of the hill and skirts the tract of moorland above mentioned, and, the Ginnel or Lord's lane. which runs again down the hill. A lane called Back lane cuts off a triangle from these two roads, and it is within and about this triangle, that the greater number of the houses of Haworth are situated. Thus the town of Haworth may be looked upon as a small triangular plot of houses, high up upon the hill, with a long straggling street running steeply down from one angle of it. From the main street the ground falls to the north-east towards a small brook in the bottom of the valley, called the Worth or Bridgehouse Beck, which after a short course of a few miles runs into the river Aire.
Haworth and the country around it, is situated upon the sand stones, coals and shale, forming the lower part of the great carboniferous formation. In sinking wells in the town, beds of this sandstone are met with, but the thickest and finest beds of it are found in the Penistone quarries above mentioned. The immediate subsoil below the town consists of clay with beds of sand in it.
The natural drainage of Haworth. runs into the Worth beck and as the surface of the streets is very much inclined, the surface-water runs off quickly.
METEOROLOGY.—No register of the direction of the wind is kept at or near Haworth. but judging from the general prevalence of south-westerly winds in this part of the country, the prevailing winds at Haworth would probably be found to come from that quarter.
Mr. Shackleton of Braithwaite, near Keighley, which is about four miles from Haworth, was kind enough to furnish me with the following extract from his register of the rainfall:—
In 1840 31.16 inches. In 1841 36.21 In 1842 28.02 In 1843 35.90 In 1844 21.17 In 1845 31.23 In 1846 32.44 In 1847 32.27 In 1848 40.38 In 1849 31.66.
Average of the above ten years 32.7 inches
GOVERNMENT AND LOCAL ACTS OF PARLIAMENT,—The hamlet of Haworth forms part of the poor-law Union of Keighley, but being at a distance of four or five miles from the Union workhouse, most of those who are compelled to apply to the Union, receive out-of-door relief, and the number who are taken into the workhouse is very small.
A surveyor is appointed annually by the rate-payers to keep the roads belonging to the hamlet in repair. The other hamlets Near and Far Oxenhope and Stanbury, which together make up the chapelry of Haworth, each appoint a separate sur veyor for the repair of their respective roads. An allowance is made of from £4 to £7. to each of these surveyors to pay them for their trouble, but from what I heard, it would appear, that the mode in which the surveyors are paid is not altogether legal. The result of having the superintendence of the roads cut up into so many small divisions is, that persons are employed as surveyors, who have no sufficient knowledge of the business, as the pay is not enough to induce properly qualified officers to under take it, thus the money of the rate-payers is frittered away in inadequate salaries, the work is badly done, and the cost of it is greater than it ought to be.
There are no local Acts of Parliament relating to Haworth.
MANUFACTURES AND TRADES - There are several worsted spinning and weaving mills in the neighbourhood of Haworth, three of these are within the hamlet of Haworth itself. Mr. Edward South Hall, the certifying surgeon under the Factory Act, furnished me with the following account of the number of hands employed at them.
At Mr. Butterfield's Factory, 42 persons are employed under 16 years of age, and four adults. This factory has only lately commenced working; when it is in full work, it is calculated, that between 900 and 1000 hands will be employed at it.
At Mr. Sugden's factory, 134 hands are employed, about one- half only of these belong to the hamlet of Haworth.
At Mytham's factory, 39 hands are employed.
Many of the inhabitants of Haworth, pursue the occupation of combing wool for the factories. This business, is carried on in their houses. In order to obtain the proper temperature for this operation, iron stoves are fixed in the rooms where it is carried on, which, are kept alight day and night, and the windows are seldom, if ever, opened, excepting in the height of summer. In some cases I found that this business was carried on in bedrooms, which consequently became very close and unhealthy, from the high temperature maintained by the stoves, and the want of ventilation. The operation Itself appears to be rather a laborious one, requiring a good deal of muscular exertion ; this probably prevents the effect of the confined atmosphere from being so pernicious as it. otherwise would be, as it has been found that people when using considerable exertion are less susceptible of atmospheric influences, than when following sedentary occupations.
VITAL STATISTICS - The census returns were not taken separately for the hamlet of Haworth, but the returns for the entire chapelry will give a sufficient idea of the gradual increase of the population and building in the district.. . . The population in the hamlet of Haworth alone, at the time of taking the census of 1841, was 2434.
The total number of inhabited dwelling-houses in the hamlet, in April 1850, was 509, and supposing the average number of inhabitants per house to be 5.17, which is the mean of the numbers in the above table, the present number of inhabitants would be 2,632, which I believe to be not very far from the truth.
Supposing that there had been no change from emigration or immigration since the last census, the present number of inhabitants would be 2,629, as will be seen by inspecting the table given below, which agrees very nearly with the above calculation.
The following table shows the number of births, the number of deaths, the population, the mortality per thousand, and the average age at death, for each of the last twelve years. . . . Upon examining the column showing the mortality per thousand, it will be observed that it ranges from 19 in the thousand, to 30.6, which latter is a rate of mortality only to be met with in very unhealthy places. The average rate of mortality for the whole twelve years, viz. 25.4 in the thousand, is very high and indicates that. the sanitary condition of the hamlet of Haworth is by no means in a satisfactory state. The rate of mortality in the neighbouring hamlets of Far and Near Oxenhope and Stanbury, during the. seven years 1838-1844 as deduced from data furnished by the Registrar-General, was 17.6 in the thousand, and the number of the inhabitants in them, as taken, at the census of 1841, was 3,869. If the sanitary arrangements of the village of Haworth were properly attended to, there is no reason why a greater rate of mortality should prevail in it, than in the country round about; it would appear, therefore, that the mortality of the hamlet of Haworth is 44.3 percent, above the standard of the neighbouring hamlets; or in other words, whereas 63.3 people die upon the average annually at Haworth, only 43.8 people would die, if the mortality were the same as in the two Oxenhopes and Stanbury, showing that 19.5 inhabitants of Haworth fall victims annually to the want of proper sanitary precautions.
The annual loss to the inhabitants of Haworth caused by this excessive mortality, if calculated upon the data resulting from the inquiries of the Health of Towns Association, would be as follows . . . This annual loss of £643 10s. is the loss arising from sickness and deaths alone, without calculating that which results from the loss of labour, resulting from the premature death of able-bodied labourers. Through the kindness of Mr. Spencer, clerk to the Union, I obtained the following extracts from the return. Form No. 11 furnished by him to the Poor Law Board.
Supposing that the expenditure for the relief of women and children, bears the same proportion as that, for the relief of the able-bodied, the above table will furnish the means of esti mating the expenditure of Haworth in providing for able-bodied labourers and their families during sickness. The number of persons relieved on account of sickness during the eight years above given, will be found to be 20.7 per cent of the total number of persons relieved during the same period. If the total expenditure for out-relief be divided in this proportion, the expenses caused by sickness during the above eight years will be found to be £2,258 15s. 4d. Had the state of health of Haworth been the same as in the neighbouring hamlets, this expenditure would have been reduced to £1,565 6s. 6d., leaving an excess of expenditure during eight years of £693 8s. 10d., or £86 13s. 7d. each year, which sum, according to the net produce of the rate made last November, would be equivalent to an annual rate of rather more than 9d. in the pound. This sum would pay for about two-thirds of the total cost to the public of the sanitary measures which I have to propose.
It should be borne in mind that this annual excess of £86 13s. 7d. is chiefly expended in the maintenance of able-bodied labourers and their families during sickness, and that it is, therefore almost entirely additional to the annual cost to the whole population of sickness arid death arising from an excessive mortality, which annual cost has been shown above to amount to about £643 10s.
The total loss sustained by the inhabitants of Haworth, in consequence of the excess of mortality in it, above that of the neighbouring hamlets, as represented by these two sums, but not including the loss of labour occasioned by premature mortality, would be equal to a rate of about 6s. 4d. in the pound.
The average age at death in this hamlet is very low; it will be seen from the table given at page 7 that it ranges from 19.6 years to 30.8 years, and that, taking the whole 12 years, the average age at death is 25.8, which is about the same as in Whitechapel, St. George-in-the-East, and St. Luke, three of the most unhealthy of the London districts. . . . mortality of Haworth is considered, it must be obvious that this absence of any person to certify the cause of death, excepting the ignorant, or perhaps interested, relatives around, affords very great acuity for the concealment of crime, ranging from murder in its naked form, through the various finely, shaded gradations of iIl treatment, starvation; and neglect, down to, that thoughtless inattention to the requirements of infant life to which the children of the poor are but too frequently exposed.
GENERAL STATISTICS.-The following table shows the number of louses in the hamlet of Haworth, as taken for a rate made in November 1849, together with their assessed annual values . . . The gross estimated rental of the hamlet was £3,196. 5s. 7d., and the total rateable value £2,7477 0s.4d. The rate then collected, amounting to 1s. 8d. in the pound, gave, after deducting the sum not collected in consequence of the poverty of the inmates arid of empty buildings, a net sum of £191 6s. 2d.,
The number of houses in the town of Haworth alone is only 316, of which 25 are cellar dwellings; most of these, however, are not strictly cellar dwellings, notwithstanding that they are so called, as although the ground. is considerably above the level of their floors upon. one side of the houses; it is, upon the other side, level with them.
There are no water closets in the town, and only 69 privies, being little more than one-privy to every four and a half houses.
The number of public houses in the town is seven, and of beer shops there. I obtained from the Exciseman the return of the quantity of malt used in 6 months for brewing beer for sale at Haworth, and found it to be 593 bushels, which, taking one bushel of malt on an average of ale and beer to 12 bushels of liquor (the proportions given me by the landlord of the Black Bull), would give 7,122 gallons of ale and beer for six months consumption, or 14,244 gallons for a year’s consumption of a population of 2,629 persons, or about one-ninth of a pint per head daily, which is considerably below the usual average.
I was informed that there is very little dram-drinking, at Haworth, and as very little beer is brewed there by private families it would appear that the total consumption of beer and spirituous liquors, as compared to the population, is very much below the average of other places.
SANITARY CONDITION OF THE TOWN.—-In reply to the preliminary inquiries made by the Board, upon receiving the petition asking for an inquiry into the sanitary condition of the town, it was stated, that there was no particular locality, where diseases had been prevalent, and I found upon opening my inspection that the general impression at Haworth was, that, excepting in the matter of water supply, it was in a satisfactory state. I had not at that time received the registrars returns for the hamlet, but I am now in a condition to show that this idea of the inhabitants of Haworth is entirely a delusion.
By referring to page 10 of this Report it will be seen that the infantile mortality is very great, since 41.6 per cent of the population die before attaining the age of six years, and by refer ring to the table given at page 7 it will be further seen that the annual mortality per thousand is 25.4. In order to obtain a better idea of the condition which this mortality indicates, it should be borne in mind that the Legislature has pronounced a mortality of 23 in a thousand to indicate, an unhealthy state requiring special remedies, and that the mortality of Haworth exceeds even this standard by 10.5 per cent.
One of the most striking features to be met with in an examination of Haworth, is the very small number of privies, being only 1 to every 4.5 houses. Whilst the average number is thus small, it will be found that there are numerous instances of the total want of this accommodation. Amongst other ones I found 7 houses in the main street, in front of Newall Hill, without any privy. I found 24 houses lower down in the main street, with only one privy amongst them, and in Gauger's Croft I found 24 other houses similarly circumstanced; in both of these instances however, one additional privy had been built by the owners of the adjoining properties, in order to benefit by the night soil collected from them, but even with this additional accommodation there would, be four groups of a dozen houses each, having the use of only one privy amongst them. The cases in which there were eight families using one privy, were very numerous. I believe that it would be found that there are not more than two dozen houses in the whole town that have a privy to themselves.
Whilst the number of privies is so limited as to be injurious to health, their situation in many instances, is not less repugnant to all ideas of decency. Two of the privies used by two dozen families each, are in the public street, not only within view of the houses, but exposed to the gaze of passers by, whilst a third, as though even such a situation were too private, is perched upon an eminence, commanding the whole length of the main street. The cesspit of this privy lies below it, and opens by a small-door into the main street; occasionally this door is burst open by the superincumbent weight of night soil and ashes, and they overflow into the public street, and at all times a disgusting effluvium escapes through, this door into the street. Within two yards of this cesspit door there is a tap for the supply of water to the neighbouring houses.
There are no sewers in Haworth; a few covered drains have been made in some of the streets to carry away the surface water, as, for instance, in the upper part of the main street and down Back-lane, but generally the drainage runs along in open channels and gutters. As a necessary consequence of the want of sewerage there is contiguous to each privy a receptacle for the night soil, in some cases walled round, in other cases fenced in with upright stones on edge; into these midden-steads are thrown the household refuse and the offal from the slaughter-houses, where, mixed with the night soil, and occasionally with the drainage from pigsties, the whole lies exposed for months together, decomposition goes on and offensive smells and putrid gases are given out. These midden-steads are uncovered, and the majority of them were nearly full when I examined them. Bad as they are, their situation, in close proximity to dwelling-houses, makes them much more injurious.
I found that the sleeping rooms of the labouring classes were very many of them crowded, and that few of the windows would open to any extent, and many of them not at all.
There are only two lodging-houses in the town, but as it is in an out-of-the-way situation, it does not appear that many tramps pass through it.
I shall now proceed, to lay before the Board a few remarks which I made upon the spot, with reference to particular localities, which struck me as being worse than the average,
Upon the western side of West-lane there is a row of back to back cottages, with four cellar dwellings below the front ones, None of the windows in these cellars would open, and for want of proper drainage the floors are occasionally flooded. At each end of this small block of houses there is a privy; with a very offensive midden-stead. One of these was in the process of being emptied, and the smell was of the most sickening character; in this midden, besides the usual contents of such receptacles, I saw the entrails of animals and other garbage from a slaughter-house and I was told that it was not unusual to see in it pieces of green meat, the refuse from a butcher's shop. This midden-stead was close to the public road, and presented a surface of 16 square yards, and, as it was full, must have contained about 16 cube yards of the above noxious matters.
In. Back-lane I found & dung heap against the wall of a house and immediately below a window, The upper portion of a cottage in this lane, consisted of three rooms opening into each other; in one of them, the dimensions of which were 23 ft. 9 in. long, 6 ft. 4in, wide, and 7 ft, high, there were four beds, in which eight quarrymen slept, giving a space of 132 cubic feet to each person. In a second small room, six men and boys who worked at the wool-combing business slept, and in the third room, they carried on their work, which required a constant fire to be kept up day and night. When I visited this place, two of the quarrymen, having been at work all night, were in bed, the consequence was, that the window was shut and an idea may be formed of the atmosphere within.
In the King's Arms yard, there was another large and offensive midden-stead, which, besides night-soil and stable-dung, contained offal from a slaughter-house.
In the Fold there was a privy used by eight families, together with a midden-stead, both of which were built above the level of the floor of a lodging-house. In this house, 10 lodgers slept in a a large room, in which there was a handloom, which was at work by day; there were 348 cubic feet to each person sleeping in this room, so that the proportion of space to each person is larger than is generally to be met with in similar houses.
Near the Head-well, there was a neighbour's privy against the wall of a house; the landlord of it complained that the night-soil oozed through the wall and ran over the floor,
At the back of Towny-End Bottom, I found a very dirty farmyard, with a large midden-stead, in which offal was lying exposed. Near this place there was a damp cellar cottage, consisting of two rooms. One of these was used for a wool-combing shop, and in the other six people slept; the latter also served for the kitchen and living-room. There was no drain from this cellar cottage, and the ground was about three feet above the floor.
In a back yard in the Ginnel belonging to the White Lion, I found a large midden-stead with offal and garbage from a slaughter-house in it; the drainage from this place flowed over the pavement of the yard in its way to the street drain. Some of the neigbbours complained of this nuisance. None of the houses in the Ginnel have back premises. There are two drains, one upon each side of the street, into which the refuse is thrown.
In the main street opposite the Black Bull Inn, is a druggist's house; there are no back premises belonging to it, but immediately against the back wall of this house, there are coal cellars a privy and midden-stead, and a pigsty, used by some of the inhabitants of Gaugers Croft. I found that the night soil from the privy emptied itself into a heap immediately below the druggists larder window, whilst the pigsty was below the kitchen window. Upon inquiring at the druggist’s house, I was informed that the contents of the midden-stead frequently came up as high as the sill of the larder window, and that 20 loads had been removed from it about three weeks previous to my visit. A woman, living in this house, said that she was always poorly, and that the stench from the midden-stead and pigsty was so bad, that she frequently was not able to eat her meals. I have annexed a plan of these back premises, and a sketch of the back of the druggist's house, in order to show the position of the windows with reference to the midden-stead and pigsty. At the end of this house in a narrow road between it and the next house which belongs to Mr. Thomas, there is another privy and an offensive midden-stead.
In Gauger's Croft I found a cellar-dwelling, consisting of two rooms, one of them a wool-comber's shop, the other, a living-room and kitchen; the family, seven in number, slept in two beds in the shop, which was very hot and close even in the day-time, and must have been very bad at night. In an alley leading from this Croft to the main street, I found a privy at only 4ft, 3in. distant from the door of a house. The back lane leading out of the lower end of Gauger's Croft to the main street, was in a very filthy state, unpaved, with a manure heap by the side of it. Complaints were made that the drainage from this lane contaminated a spring of drinking-water below it.
In the main street, the tenant of one of the houses complained of a midden-stead at the end of Newall-hill and stated that during heavy rain, the night-soil was carried down to his back door. The tenants of two houses lower down in this street, complained that their houses were rendered damp and offensive, by the soakage from a large ash-heap on Newall hill at the back of them, and the landlord of one of them said that be had made a drain between his house and the ash-heap, but that it soon got filled up, and was consequently useless. Upon going to the backs of these houses, I found that the level of the ground behind them, was higher than the bedroom floors, and that there was a very large ash-tray lying against the back wall of them, which extended a little way over the roofs. In one of these houses two people were ill with fever, at the time of my inspection. Upon the opposite side of this street I found a pigsty and a midden-stead immediately below the back windows of a house.
In the main street, between the Black Bull and the turnpike, there are 44 houses without any back premises, the consequence is that all the refuse from them is thrown into an open channel, which runs down the street. The ground at the back of more than 30 of these houses is considerably above the level of their floors, in some cases it is as high as the window of the upper story, and as there is no drain or area between the walls of the houses and the ground, the back rooms of all of them are more or less damp.
Lower down the town, I found the Further Hull, a dirty yard with open midden-steads in it. Very few of the houses in Stubbing-lane have any back premises, and in Bunker's-hill, there are three cellar-cottages without any window capable of opening.
The total number of midden-steads scattered about the town in different directions was 50, whilst there were at the time of my visit to Haworth, 23 manure and refuse-heaps making a total of 73 sources, capable under favouring atmospheric conditions, of inducing fever and disease.
Thus, from one end of the town to the other, I found the same deficient accommodation in the nature of back yards and privies, the same exposed surface of decomposing matter, giving out their putrid gases from the midden-steads and the same want of ventilation in the sleeping rooms of the poorer classes; all of them evils which powerfully tend to induce an unhealthy state in any population which may be unfortunate enough to be exposed to them.
WATER SUPPLY —Bad as is this state of things, perhaps the most crying want of Haworth is water, of which there is an absolute dearth in the dry season.
There are in Haworth 11 pumps, 9 of which are in use, and 2 not in use; besides these pumps there are 7 wells, of which two are public wells; one of these called the Head Well, is in the upper part of the town, and the other called the Brigg Well, is in the lower part of the town, and it was from these two sources chiefly, that the town depended upon for its supply, until Mr. Thomas, an enterprising inhabitant of Haworth, opened up a third source, by renting a spring of water called Sowden's Spring, and forming a small cistern in the fields above Newall- hill, from which cistern he laid down leaden-pipes and supplied with water from 30 to 40 houses in the town. The water is conveyed by common earthen pot-pipes, from the spring to the reservoir; these pipes are always leaking, and a large proportion of the water is lost in consequence. I did not observe other sinks or drains, in the houses supplied from these pipes; the taps appeared to leak a good deal, and there was a bucket or can below them to catch the waste water. Many of the houses are unable to get water when those above them are drawing it, and this supply, although a very great improvement over the old pumps and wells, is by no means sufficient, either in quantity or regularity. The charge for this supply varies from 3s. to 5s. a year.
In making inquiries connected with the existing supply of water, I met with complaints of it from all quarters, excepting from the tenants of Mr. Thomas' waterworks, who were generally well satisfied with their supply. One person living in West-lane, stated that he was in the daily habit of fetching the water used for cooking from a distance of 800 yards, but that the water from this source was not always clear, being apparently surface water, and that he was then obliged to send half a mile for water.
Very few of the inhabitants use the pump-water for cooking or for drinking, as they do not fancy that this water is pure and when the soakage into the ground from the midden-stead, and the small depth of the pump-wells, varying from 12 to 17 feet, are considered, there appears every reason to suppose, that the general opinion upon this subject is correct.
I found that the inmates of a respectable house in Town End Bottom, were in the habit of sending regularly for their water for cooking, to Spring Head, which is about a quarter of a mile distant, and at the bottom of a steep hill. It was stated to me in evidence, that about 150 houses are dependant for their supply of water upon the Head well, and that the supply from it it is so scanty in the summer time, that in order to have water for the Monday's washing, the poor people are in the habit of going there at 2 or 3 o'clock on Monday morning, in order to wait for their turn, to fill their cans and buckets from the slowly running stream. It was also stated that the water of this well is very bad at this season, and that it is sometimes so green and putrid, that cattle which have been driven there to drink, after tasting the water, have turned away and refused to touch it again. I gauged the amount of water running from this well, or rather spring, and found it to yield two gallons per minute, but in consequence of some heavy rain having fallen a few days previously, the quantity then running was said to be considerably above the average. The supply from the Brigg Well is rather better than that from the Head Well, but even that is insufficient in quantity, and doubtful in quality.
I tested several specimens of water for hardness with the follow- ing results:—
Hardness Water from the Head well . . . 7.7 Water from Brigg well . 4.7 Water from Mr. Hall's well near the Fold . 5.2 Water from pump in the Fold . . . 8.6 Water from Mr. Greenwood's pump at the back of the church . . . . 8.3 Water From the top of the Bull Inn—this is brought in pipes from Sowden's spring, and is that which is given by Mr. Thomas’ pipes . . . . . 1.9 Water from the Hough spring, beyond Sowden's spring . 1.6
It has been proposed to unite the waters of the two last springs, and to supply the town with them.
From an examination of the above analysis, I should be inclined to suspect, that the real spring water, which rises from the sandstone rock, is softer than the surface water, which percolates through the clay overlying the rock; thus the water from the Hough spring which I stated not to vary in quantity all year through, and therefore probably come from a deep source is the softest of the above waters. Sowden's spring, which probably receives some surface water, in addition to the spring water, as it is reduced in quantity nearly one-half during the summer season, is somewhat harder; then follows the Brigg well, the Head well, and the pump waters. Mr. Halls well is, however, an exception, as it is softer than the Head well, but this may be owing to some peculiarity in its situation.
DISPOSAL OF THE DRAINAGE WATER AND REFUSE.—The existing drains open into the fields at several points immediately below the main street, and the drainage water is led in open ditches to irrigate these fields. Complaints were made that some of this drainage water got into a watercourse, which supplied some detached houses at Mill Hill with water. I should conclude that this use of the drainage matters in immediate vicinity to the houses, would in warm weather prove prejudicial to the health of the persons living in the neighbourhood.
The contents of the midden-steads are from time to time taken away by farmers, and applied for manuring land, but I was informed that the large admixture of ashes with the night-soil, very materially takes away from its value. I found that the midden-stead at the Fleece Inn was quite full, and upon inquiring why it was not emptied, I was informed, that, in consequence of the ashes being a drug at that time, the farmer (who paid 10s. 6d. a year for the contents, of their midden-steads.) was in no hurry to fulfil his contract, and remove the contents.
HIGHWAYS--The greater part of the main street is tolerably paved, but the footpaths are rather indifferently maintained. The Ginne1 is also well paved; and West-lane and Back-lane are macadamized, and are kept in tolerable order. The smaller lanes and crofts are unpaved and furrowed by the rains, which run rapidly over them, owing to the steep inclination of the ground. The lane leading from Gauger's-croft is, as I have before mentioned, is a disgraceful state of filth.
Many of the shops are lighted with gas; but there are no public lights. The gas is supplied from the works of a mill about a mile from the town, at a charge of 8s. per thousand cubic feet.
The following was the cost of the repairs of the highways in the hamlet of Haworth during the last five years :- . . .
The expenditure of the year 1848 greatly exceeded the average of the other years; and Mr. Redman informed me that it might be accounted for by the fact that large numbers of men were out of employ during that year, and were engaged by the surveyor to break stones upon the roads.
BURIAL-GROUNDS.—the parish churchyard is about nine-tenths of an acre in extent, and is situated around the church, which is upon the western side of the main street, and near to the highest part of it. There are only two houses immediately bordering upon the churchyard, namely, the parsonage and the Black Bull Inn. A narrow lane separates the National School and two or three cottages from it. The southern and western sides of it are bounded by the fields; and it did not appear probable at present that the town will extend itself in that direction.
The churchyard is almost, if not quite, full of graves. According to the return furnished to me by the parish clerk, it would appear that 1,344 burials have taken place there during the last 10 years. Had these interments been ordered according to proper sanitary arrangements they would have required a space of about eight-tenths of an acre, or nearly the entire area of the present churchyard. It has been proposed to lake an additional strip of land upon the southern side of the churchyard for the purpose of enlarging it and a piece might be obtained there which would be at least 30 yards distant from any house. Considering the present number of the inhabitants of Haworth, it would require the addition of at least an acre to the present churchyard. In order to meet the requirements of the population, and to allow of corpses being interred at proper intervals from each other, so as to prevent too great a collection in one place of decomposing matter.
The practice at Haworth is, to cover the grave with a flat stone, upon which is engraved the name, age, &c. of the dead ; and the churchyard presents one entire surface of flat stones, laid at different heights from the ground, some of them simply reposing upon the mound of earth, which covers the grave, whilst others are supported upon dwarf walls, and form raised tombs. This practice is a very bad one, as it prevents that access of atmospheric air to the ground. which is necessary for promoting decomposition; and, beside, the stones take the place of those grasses and shrubs which, if planted there, would tend to absorb the gases evolved during decomposition, and render the process less likely to contaminate the atmosphere. Mr. Chadwick, in his Report upon the Practice of Interment in Towns, says. "A rich vegetation exercises a powerful purifying influence; and where the emanations are moderate, as from single graves, would go far to prevent the escape of any deleterious miasma."
Another point which I consider should be attended to in the formation of any new burial-ground is the efficient drainage of it. The drains should be laid very deep, below the greatest depth to which the graves would be dug, and the drainage should be carried away by airtight pipes into the main sewer, where it would be diluted with other water, care being taken to lead into one which has no direct communication with any house-drain. The advantages of this deep drainage of the site of a burial-ground are twofold.
In the first place, deep drainage, by removing the moisture from the ground, will gradually cause even the stiffest description of clay to crack and fissure until it becomes porous, and allow the air to penetrate throughout the subsoil; this effect is assisted by the action of worms and moles, which always work down to the drains, and thus open channels for the moisture likewise to find its way down. Thus the effect of thorough drainage is to bring the soil into that state, in which it is in the moat favourable circumstances for facilitating decomposition.
In the second place, thorough drainage removes from the surface of a churchyard, as speedily as is possible, the wet and moisture usually found there, which always contain in solution many of the putrid gases and other products resulting from the decomposition of the bodies interred there, and by carrying them speedily away into a covered sewer, prevents them from giving out miasma to the atmosphere. A most striking example of the state of the water draining from a churchyard is to be found at Castleford, where an addition to the churchyard was made by enclosing a small piece of ground, through which ran a covered drain, leading into the ditch which bounded the rector's garden. There was evidence of the actual communication between this drain and the graves. The smell arising at the mouth of the open part of this ditch, was one of the moat nauseous and fetid nature which I ever came across; and two or three minutes spent in the neighbourhood left a sickness and faintness which lasted some hours. I consider, then, the speedy carrying away in covered channels of the water charged with this most dangerous and most subtle matter, to be one of the most efficacious means of diminishing the evils, which there can be no doubt always take place from the vicinity of burial-grounds to inhabited places.
The following are the common fees at Haworth for the interment of the body of a parishioner :— s. d. For a common grave ... 2s. 0d. Fee to the Minister . . ls. 0d. " clerk . . . 0s. 6d. " Sexton . . 0s. 2d. Total: 3s. 8d.
If the person to be interred is a parishioner, but dies in another parish, the fees are 5s. 2d.; and the fees for a person who does not belong to the parish are 7s. 4d.
A few burials have taken place in vaults beneath the church; the number of them during the last 20 years has been about 8. This is a practice to which an entire stop should be put for the future.
Besides the burial-ground attached to the parish church, there are small pieces of ground about the Baptists' and Methodists' chapels, which are. intended for the interment of members of those congregations; but very few interments have yet taken place in them. There are three chapels, two Baptists' and one Methodists' and they are all upon the outskirts of the town, and consequently. the burial-grounds attached to them have not many houses near them.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND REMEDIAL MEASURES
As the first step towards enabling the inhabitants of Haworth to make those necessary improvements, which, besides adding most materially to their comforts, and especially to the comforts of the poorer classes amongst them, will, without doubt, improve their general health, and by so doing reduce the public burden of the poor-rates, I recommend the application of the Public Health Act to the hamlet of Haworth and the parts adjacent.
A small portion of the village or town of Haworth being within the boundary of the hamlet of Near Oxenhope, I propose that this portion of the said hamlet be, for the purposes of the Public Health Act, included within the boundaries of the district of Haworth; and that for that purpose the boundary be extended, as shown by the dotted lines upon the accompanying map.
As the population of the adjoining hamlets of Near and Far Oxenhope and Stanbury is, for the most part, collected together into little groups of 15 or 20 cottages, and as the state of them is represented to be very bad, typhus prevailing amongst them to some extent, I think that very possibly it may be deemed advisable, in pursuance of the powers given in clause No. 141 of the Public Health Act, at some future time to incorporate the greater part, if not the whole, of these hamlets with the district of Haworth. I do not, however, recommend that this be done at present, as it might lead to delay in the application of the Act to Haworth.
LOCAL BOARD.—By reference to page 11 of this Report it will be seen that the number of houses rated at sums above the annual value of 51. is only 27. Under these circumstances it will be necessary to keep the qualification for the members of the Local Board low, in order to have a sufficient number of persons eligible for it, out of whom to select the most efficient. I therefore propose that the qualification be fixed as follows:—Provided always, that no person shall be eligible for election as a member of the Local Board of Health of Haworth, unless he be seised or possessed of real or personal estate, or both, to a value or amount of at least 200l., or be rated to the relief of the poor upon an annual value of at least 5l.
I further propose that the number of the Local Board be fixed at nine. . .
WATER SUPPLY - Two sources present themselves, whence a supply of pure water may be procured. In the description of the town, I have made mention of the extensive moorlands which lie above Haworth. It was proposed at one time to enclose a large tract of this land for cultivation, but the necessary arrangements between the parties who claimed to have a right to it, could not be made, and the idea was abandoned. By cutting drains and laying down draining tiles when necessary, in this tract of land, a large quantity of surface water might be obtained, which, if collected in a reservoir, would afford an ample supply of water, whilst the draining of the surface of the land effected by this means would be very advantageous, should it ever be enclosed for cultivation. One of the abandoned stone quarries, of which there are several at the Haworth end of this moorland, could, with very little additional excavation, be used for a storing reservoir; the only difficulty that presents itself, is the want of clay upon the spot for puddle to make the reservoir water-tight, in order to prevent the joints of the rock allowing the water to sink through them. This difficulty might however be overcome by bringing clay there from the valley below it. From the reservoir thus formed a main might be laid down along the turnpike-road to bring the water to the town.
The other source from whence a supply of water might be brought to the town, consists of two springs near the church path; the farther one is called the Hough Spring, and the nearer is Sowden's Spring. As was stated at page 16 of this Report, Mr. Thomas's supply of water is obtained from Sowden's Spring, It will be seen from the analysis given in the following page that the hardness of the water of these springs is respectively 1.6° and 1.9°, they are therefore very well fitted for furnishing a supply of soft water. Mr. Joseph Redman informed me, that he had gauged these springs about eight days before my arrival, and that he found them to yield as follows ;—
The Hough Spring 4 gallons per minute. Sowden's Spring 6 gallons per minute Total ..... 10 gallons per minute
The time when Mr. Redman gauged these springs was during an unusually dry season, when they might naturally be expected to yield but a small supply. Mr. Redman and other people of whom I inquired, all agreed that the Hough Spring continued to give the same supply all the year through, but that Sowden's Spring fell off nearly one half in the summer season. It would appear then, if these statements should be borne out by further experience, that a constant supply from these springs, of at least seven gallons a minute might be depended upon. It would probably be found by tracing them farther into the hill, and putting in pipes to collect the water, that this supply might be materially increased. Seven gallons a minute would, in the 24 hours, yield 10,080 gallons.
The total number of houses in the town alone, was stated to be 316, and if a proper supply be calculated at 50 gallons a house each day, about 15,800 gallons would be required for the present daily supply of the town. Under these circumstances, it becomes evident that the springs alone, in their present state, would not furnish a sufficient quantity, especially when the probability of (he future increase of the town is considered. In this state of doubt with regard to the sufficiency of the springs, I have considered it safest to make my estimate of the cost of the water-works upon the supposition that the water is to be got in the mode previously described, from the moorland.
As the cost of obtaining a supply from these springs would probably be less than one obtained from the moorland, an estimate formed upon the latter supposition would be certain to be sufficient to cover the total expenses of the water-works, should the result of a further examination and gauging of the springs prove to be more favourable.
The main to bring the water from the reservoir on the moor the town, would require to have a diameter of 4 inches. As the upper part of this main would have a pressure of only a small head of water upon it, I consider that it might be made of glazed earthenware pipes; the lower half, having a greater pressure, I should propose making of cast iron.
The 4-inch main should be continued down the main street, as far as Newall-hill, after which it may be reduced to a 3-inch main. Three inch pipes should branch out of the main to supply West-lane, Ginnel and Gaugers Croft. These pipes may be reduced to 2 inches diameter at their lower end; the service-pipes to the houses should have a bore of from 1/4 to 3/8 inch. . .
BURIAL-GROUNDS.— As it will be seen by reference to page 19 that the present burial-ground is quite full of graves, I recommend that no more interments be allowed to take place in it; and if the inhabitants prefer to take in an additional piece of ground, instead of the preferable plan of providing a cemetery at a short distance from the town, I should recommend that such additional piece of burial-ground be thoroughly drained to a depth of, at least 8 feet, and that a code of regulations be established in order to prevent graves being made too near to each other, and that no more than one body be allowed to be interred in each grave.
SLAUGHTER-HOUSES.— I recommend that a small slaughterhouse be established for the use of the town, and that all slaughtering of cattle in any other place within the town be prohibited.
CHARGES.— 1 have appended to this report estimates of the expense of laying down a complete system of sewerage, and of bringing an adequate water supply to the town; and I recommend that these expenses be paid for by annual instalments spaced over a period of 60 years.
It will be seen that the expense of the sewerage amounts to £863 10s., which will require an annual payment of about £51 16s., to be continued for 30 years, being, upon the average, a weekly rate of 3/4d. for each house in the town. The estimated cost of the water-works amounts to £1,274 12s. 6d., which would require an average weekly payment of 1 1/4d. per house, or 4s. 10 1/2d a-vear. In proportion as additional houses are built, this charge would be diminished, as the proposed arrangements would allow of a considerable increase in the quantity of water supplied, with very little, if any, increased outlay.
The expense of laying down pipes for bringing water into the houses, the cost of converting the privies into water-closets, of putting sinks and waste-drains in the kitchens, and of building new water-closets, where required, will probably average about £3 for each house, in which these improvements may be necessary. . .
I have the honour to be, My Lords and Gentlemen, Your Obedient Servant, B. HERSCHEL BABBAGE.
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