Heaven on Earth

Before Angel Meadow became Victorian Britain's 'Hell on Earth', it was a picture of heaven. For hundreds of years, nothing but farmers' fields covered the hillside that formed the slope of Angel Street. Before the clanking of mill machinery filled the air with thunder, the only sound that could be heard was the melody of… Continue reading Heaven on Earth

Angus Bethune Reach, 1849

The lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy, and most wicked locality in Manchester... inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants, tramps, and, in the very worst sties of filth and darkness, by those unhappy wretches the 'low Irish'.

The journey begins

Welcome to the blog that accompanies my book Angel Meadow: Victorian Britain's Most Savage Slum. I became fascinated by Angel Meadow when I discovered that my Victorian forefather had been among the 30,000 impoverished souls who lived there. He was a farm labourer called William Kirby who fled the rugged west coast of Ireland following… Continue reading The journey begins