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Teacher's Notes

Victorian Bristol
What can we learn about the way of life in Victorian Bristol?

There is a wealth of information about the Victorian period. Unlike earlier periods there are lots of records of what life was like during Queen Victoria's reign. We can find out information about almost everyone who lived at the time both rich and poor.

There are street directories, newspapers and census records that list people by name and address. It was also in the Victorian period that the first photographs of Bristol were taken around 1840.

We can therefore begin to see a clear picture of how people were living in the city, where they went to work, where they lived and where they went to school.

Many schools started during the Victorian period as education became more widespread. Before 1840 the majority of the population couldn't read or write and school was largely for the rich. By the end of Victoria's reign school was compulsory for all children.