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The family with as many as 10 – 15 children, and some elderly relatives, would have been employed in local lead mines, on neighbouring farms or in local crafts. They would have had a small-holding on which they grew vegetables and kept a pig for meat, chickens for eggs and meat, and a few cows for milk which was made into butter and cheese and sold for rent money.

The inhabitants would have had a very small income, but had little need to spend money. The most important cost was rent  - if any: if a cottage was built on common land overnight and had smoke coming through the chimney by dawn, the occupier could stay there rent free. These are known as one night cottages (Ty Unos).

Other expenses included salt; cloth, needles and cotton for making and repairing clothes and many people saved for a good funeral.

Most possessions would have been given or lent (as part of a wedding tradition), or left in a will, and repaired as necessary by local craftsmen.