The Giddy Meadow was the name once given to the small  cluster of houses that made up the village of Bacup at the  end of the eighteenth century. At this time Bacup was a  small and unimportant place, the population in 1798  stood at approximately 1,426 with 306 houses situated  in and around the areas of Boston and Hempsteads  with a few cottages in the Newgate area. Market  Street and St James Street were just areas of  agricultural land. The surrounding hillsides were dotted  with farmhouses and attached cottages where  spinning and weaving took place on handlooms.  By 1840 the spinning and weaving once carried out by  families in their own homes had moved to mass  production in the 30 mills that had sprung up along the  banks of the River Irwell.   Enclosures and the mechanisation of farming in the Midlands and  Southern counties and famine in Ireland all resulted in the landless people looking for a place to  live and, with an abundance of spare land here, they began to settle in this area.  The population return of 1851 was 10,313, with a rise to 10,965 ten years later. Two years later in  1863, the population had grown to 14,500 and the houses numbered over 3,300. By 1894 the  population in Bacup including Stacksteads had grown to 23,498, and with a need to provide  accommodation homes were built without a plan, back to back and back to earth and, in some  cases, home was just a one roomed cellar house. With no backyards, the only door to the world for  some faced their neighbours as did the lavatories and coal places, row upon row of dustbins  hugging the walls in monotonous uniformity.  
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Early Days
The public health report for Bacup of 1849 paints a horryfying picture of the Bacup our ancestors lived in.There was at the time of the report no  official authorities, apart from the gas company and the police and so therefore no restrictions or rules on what housing stands for example  should be. Most of the houses were constructed of stone which was readily availablle. If you had working class ancestors living in Victorian or  Edwardian Bacup the chances are they would have lived in one of the many terraced back to back one up one down houses that are still to be  seen today the majority of these houses had two bedrooms and sometimes an attic. Downstairs there would be the living room and scullery and  quite often a cellar. Some houses consisted of only one room and were commonly known as cellar dwellings.   Accommodating families from two to six persons and in some cases not all of the same family. In 1849 there were 26 cellar dwellings this had  risen by 1895 to 255 cellar dwellings 152 of these were occupied by families and 130 0f these were empty. Even so overcrowding was a huge  problem. With no real sanitation provision  the roads, pathways and courtyards were often filthy with human waste. A report in the newspaper of  1865 stated that the paths are filthy as ever and the roads monstrous