One of the most graphic accounts of the awful conditions in which many Prestonians lived in the middle of the 19th century was provided by two lengthy articles that appeared in The Builder magazine in December 1861 as part of a series titled ‘Condition of Our Towns’. Short quotations from the articles are frequently found, but the articles really are worth re-publishing in full. Unfortunately, Victorian magazines are usually not very reader friendly — large slabs of tightly-set unbroken text would deter all but the most committed modern reader.
I have transcribed both articles and broken up the text to improve readability. And to help readers follow the reporter on his journeys round the town I have added maps.