SCAN Education - Coal Mining in Scotland 1840-1920home | teacher materials | about scan | feedback | contact scan  
Working Conditions
photograph of miner's house (Falkirk Museums and SCRAN)

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The pit owners provided many miners with houses.

Miners were expected to pay rent for their house. If a miner lost their job in the pit, they could also lose their house. Often housing was of a poor standard with one or two rooms and no toilet or running water. The houses were usually one or two storey buildings made from cheap brick.

The houses were joined together in rows to save money. Sometimes the front door of miners' rows would open directly on to the street. Although living conditions were poor, there was a strong sense of community spirit amongst the miners and their families.

There are two sources in this section.

Source 4A
photo of miner's house
Click to view Source 4A
Source 4A is a photograph of the inside of a miner's house at East End, Redding, Stirlingshire. It was taken about 1930 to record slum housing in the area.

Click to enlarge the image, then answer the following questions.


  1. Describe the living conditions in this miner's house.

  2. How reliable is Source 4A as evidence of living conditions for miners in the 1930s?
Source 4B
photo of miners' rows
Click to view Source 4B
Source 4B is a picture of miners' rows at Standburn about 1930. It was taken as evidence of improvements to slum housing.

Click to enlarge the image, then answer the following questions.


  1. Describe the housing conditions shown by this picture.

  2. Does Source 4B support the evidence about housing conditions shown in Source 4A? Give reasons for your answer.
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