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Continuity and change in Durham city: an historical geography of a nineteenth century small town

Holt, Susan Barbara (1979) Continuity and change in Durham city: an historical geography of a nineteenth century small town. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis examines the historical geography of the Municipal Borough of Durham, a relatively small nineteenth century town, in order to compare it with contemporary larger towns and with pre-nineteenth century towns. Discussion of a number of key themes is followed by an analysis of residential patterns and an evaluation of the processes underlying them. At mid-century Durham was a manufacturing town with both large and small employment units. In economy and population size it contrasted earlier centuries but more continuity was seen in terms of townscape. Dwellings built during the later nineteenth century formed a small but distinct part of the housing stock and an examination of the processes of housing provision showed no clear linkage with selected aspects of the regional economy. Instead, a detailed study of building applicants, by means of nominal linkage techniques, showed varied types of applicants operating on different types of building site. Constraints on building imposed by local authorities were found to be of slight importance. As a final key theme it was found that the social structure of this small town had attributes associated with larger towns of the period. All these themes are drawn upon in order to describe and explain patterns of residence within the town. No sampling techniques are used; instead each household in 1851 and 1871 is matched with its dwelling. Relationships can be detected between household types and rateable value, a surrogate for rent, and marked differences emerge between the heterogeneity of rateable values and social characteristics of most of the old town and the greater homogeneity of the new streets. In this town, in contrast to other published studies, residential patterns cannot be attributed either to its size or to its social and economic character. Instead explanation must be sought in the inherited distribution of property in fictional ownership and in the character of nineteenth century building operations and finance,

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1979
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:29

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