chapter  3
25 Pages

A New Method of Transport

An example of this is the village of Rainow, on one of the hills which separate Cheshire from Derbyshire. In the eighteenth century the villagers spun and wove silk and cotton in their homes and grazed sheep and cattle on Rainow Knoll, a rounded hill near by. Rainow Knoll was enclosed; factories using waterpower were built along the stream in the valley below the village. For a while the villagers worked in the factories and climbed back to their homes

when the day’s work was over. Then, when steam took the place of water for driving the machines, factories were built in towns near or on the coalfields. The census of 1831 records a decrease in population at Rainow and offers as an explanation in a marginal note that many of the inhabitants had left Rainow to seek work in the cotton-manufacturing towns such as Stockport or Manchester. Both these towns had coal-mines near their boundaries.