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Manuscripts and Special Collections

East Midlands Collection Not 3.E12 : Extracts from the records of the Borough of Nottingham, from Gray, Duncan and Walker, Violet W. (eds.), Records of the Borough of Nottingham, vol. IX, 1836-1900 (Nottingham: T. Forman, 1956)

1847, 13 December

The Committee appointed to enforce the Act for the removal of nuisances [the Sanitary Committee] Report:

That accompanied by Mr. Goodhead, Mr. Dickinson, and Mr. Copeland from the Highway Boards of Saint Mary, Saint Peter and Saint Nicholas, they have visited the principal parts of Nottingham in which Nuisances injurious to health exist

That these Nuisances are found to be greater in number and extent than could have been believed had they not been made the object of actual Survey.

That they prevail mainly in the poorer or more closely built districts.

That the residents near them suffer greatly in their comforts, in their health, and in their social conditions, and that Fever and similar diseases are constantly found in their immediate neighbourhood.

The parts of the Town specially requiring notice as containing Nuisances are the following: [More than 50 listed including]

Narrow Marsh (South Side)
Buildings of... Crosland Court, Crosland Street, Pepper Alley, Lee's Yard and adjoining yards
Narrow Marsh (North Side)
Filthy drainage from houses on the High Pavement. Noisome accumulations in the yards and in Excavations under the Rock.
Middle Marsh
Yard with Pig-styes - bones boiled.
Pear Street }
Peach Street } Woolley's Yard, Lewis's Square

In these localities (and they embrace the whole circuit of the Town) are found nuisances injurious to health and most offensive to comfort and propriety - nuisances to the destructive influence of which the Residents generally seem fully alive.

The nature of the dwellings of numbers of the poorer classes in this Town is matter of deep regret many of them being in close and offensive yards and others over privies and open noisome dustholes or in underground Cellars.

In many instances the inhabitants of a number of houses have to resort to Privies few in number and common to them all some of which are without doors so noisome as scarcely to be approachable and so exposed as to offend all sense of decency. Some are so ill-constructed that the drainage from them runs into adjoining houses, others are so broken up and filthy as to be wholly useless. There are numbers of Houses in the Town which have no Privies at all attached to them; this is particularly the case in Brook Street and Fyne Street, in which there are thirty-eight houses without dusthole or Privy.

In many crowded Courts, and in some Streets there is no drainage, or only a surface drainage of an imperfect character, and the surface of the Streets and Courts is often the receptacle for the refuse of the Houses; and yet these Streets and Courts are the Playplaces of the Children, and in fact almost part of their Homes.

In the midst of the most closely built neighbourhoods are filthy Pigstyes, Slaughterhouses, accumulations of Blood and refuse and cesspools all sending out noxious effluvia.

In the Streets and Yards abutting on the Market Place are numerous Slaughterhouses which from defective drainage are most noxious as is particularly the case in Bellfounders Yard while from their situations they are unavoidably exposed to the sight of Children and other passers by.

Medical statistics prove beyond question that the want of drainage, and the existence of these noxious effluvia are the principal cause of Fever and predispose to other diseases and render them more virulent ...