An act for town improvements


An act for town improvements


  • Intro

    Eighteenth-century city life was frequently confusing and chaotic. The network of narrow allies and lanes, that had remained largely unchanged in many towns since medieval times, proved increasingly inconvenient to city dwellers. In the late 1700s small steps were made to improve these conditions. Several ‘paving acts’ such as the one pictured here, were passed. The acts resulted in, for example, more efficient drainage and mending of roads, in order to keep local trade flowing. Regular street cleaning was implemented to ensure a clear passageway for traffic while hazardous shop signs overhanging streets were ordered to be removed. Street lighting was also improved, with oil lamps becoming more common in many towns, paid for by householders out of local rates. By 1800 many visitors to London were mesmerized by the bright city lights they encountered there, which became the envy of most European cities.


    Shelfmark: 1379. g. 19

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