George Slater was born in 1807. He employed over 300 people and built and managed three mills in Sandygate. He had a major influence on the landscape here and on the development of cotton manufacturing in Burnley, at a time when the town was the cotton weaving capital of the world.
Some say his workers liked him as he ‘would let none go to the workhouse who had done him good service’. But what would happen if you didn’t? Listen to local historian Steve Chappels explain why most people did not like him at all.
Slater Terrace was an unusual row of two up two down houses built above a warehouse by George Slater for his workers. They were slightly better quality than the typical housing of the time although, living in the heart of industrial Burnley would have been tough on the senses. Imagine living with the continuous din of industry, the strong, damp smells from the canal and the plumes of thick smoke creating a heavy smog hanging in the air.
Despite their better quality it didn’t take long for the eleven cottages overlooking the canal, to become crammed with workers and their families, including a cotton weaver, blacksmith, tailor, engineer and dressmaker. The 1861 census reveals that twelve members of two families shared four rooms in one of the dwellings.
There is an abundance of insects along the canal offering an important food source to a great number of animals, birds and insects. Dragonflies and damselflies are fast flying, carnivorous insects who enjoy an insect feast. During the breeding season dragonflies stay close to the water and you may see them darting around hunting for prey. Keep an eye out for the Broad Bodied Chaser.
Last date edited: 21 July 2015