INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MODEL VILLAGES OF BRITAIN
Starting from the late 18th century, many English landowners and industrialists began building villages to provide housing for their workers and their families close to their workplace. Elsewhere, such type of settlements are known as ‘company towns’. In Britain they are called ‘model villages’.
While company towns are usually associated with the mining industry, in Britain, model villages are centered around all sorts of industries ranging from soap to chocolate. When they began popping up all over Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, they sharply contrasted the overcrowded living conditions of British working-class districts of the time.
Model villages had higher standards of living with high quality housing, integrated community amenities, open spaces and other attractive physical environments that British workers seldom had access to. They became examples for others to follow.
Some of the first model villages were built by landowners driven mainly by aesthetic reasons. Old cottages belonging to the poor often blotted the countryside and spoiled the fine vista offered from their country house.
So, landowners had these cottages demolished and the people relocated to a new landscape creating the first model village. Later, as the Industrial Revolution took hold, many industrialists who built factories in rural locations provided housing for workers clustered around the workplace.
Some of these industrialists were genuinely concerned for the welfare of their workers. Others recognised that keeping workers happy was the key to increased productivity.