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Mapping poverty in Agar Town: economic conditions prior to the development of St. Pancras Station in 1866


  • Swensen, Steven P.


In 1866, the Midland Railway Company demolished Agar Town, an area Victorian writers called the foulest slum in London, to make way for the development of St Pancras railway station. Most Londoners lauded the action. But what kind of tenants actually inhabited the area before it was destroyed, and were they really as foul a populace as recorded? While it is impossible to recreate the exact conditions under which the people of Agar Town lived, it can be shown that the households were more complex than earlier accounts suggest. This paper employs census data and contemporary interviews to reconstruct the earnings and overall income available to households within the displaced area. This information is used to produce a visual representation of economic conditions within the lost streets of Agar Town, based upon Charles Booth’s 1889 Descriptive Map of London Poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Swensen, Steven P., 2006. "Mapping poverty in Agar Town: economic conditions prior to the development of St. Pancras Station in 1866," Economic History Working Papers 22539, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22539

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    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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