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How can digital resources help us accurately interpret the past?

The SEGfL Census project is an opportunity for primary and secondary aged pupils to use a wide range of digital resources to discover what life was like in Victorian Britain.

To research the history of Wickhambreaux Water Mill near Canterbury, Years 5 and 6 pupils from the local school used online census data, British Pathe videos, 19th Century photographs and a range of historical maps to discover what life was like in the village at the end of the 19th Century.

Wickhambreaux - "The last mill standing!"

In the mid 19th Century there were over 20 water mills along the River Stour. Today just 2 remain.

Working conditions for children in Victorian Times

This term Year 5 and 6 pupils at Wickhambreaux Primary School in Kent have been finding out what life was like in the village at the end of the 19th Century. Part of their project was to compare and contrast working conditions at the end of the 19th Century with conditions today. To research this question the pupils were given access to the 1871 and 1891 census data. Close examination of census data showed that earlier in the century most people living in the village worked on the land. However, by 1891 this situation had changed and the largest single employer in the village and the surrounding area was the water mill that had been converted from a traditional corn mill to a rubber working plant that employed men and women to mould and cut rubber to make tobacco pouches for pipe smokers.

Who was Mary Chapman? To find out click on the link below.

"Wickhambreaux - The last mill standing?" is the second of six Case Studies that show how Census data and online resources can enhance project based learning.

Interested in joining The Census Project?  

Contact: Phil Bracegirdle - SEGfL Associates   E-mail:

Book a Training Day for your school:

"The training day showed how ICT can enhance historical enquiry. Feeling confident with the software was very important and Phil gave us time to become familiar with each resource. We left with our project plan clearly mapped out. Many thanks for an inspirational day." 

Philip Mann - Wokingham LA