Colonising The Slums

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20050711

In 1884, one of Victorian Britain's strangest yet most socially influential experiments was launched.

A band of highly privileged social reformers decided to live and work amongst the squalor of London's East End in an attempt to connect the two nations of rich and poor and change society forever.

They called their utopian community a settlement, and over the years hundreds of settlements would spring up across the world.

Historian Richard Weight explores the history of this unique movement and its legacy for modern social work.

He also asks what relevance contemporary settlements have in today's Britain.