Georgians At home

Barnes, the Lady’s Maid and Joe, the Footman are talking in the Scullery. Their lives are a lot harder than the family they look after and they need to stay awake until very late to finish their jobs. This room was used for washing, cleaning, storing coal for the fires and keeping foods like meat and cheese cool in the meatsafes (there were no fridges or freezers in Georgian times!). It was also the Scullery Maids bedroom. Can you imagine sleeping on these floors surrounded by coal and the heat from the ovens?!

Jane Austen

Servants were not meant to be seen by the families they looked after. In one of Jane Austen’s books called ‘Mansfield Park’ there is a character called Mrs Norris who was known for being unkind to her servants. Watching the way that people treated their servants, was a good way to tell what they were really like.

Explore an Object: Iron

The Georgians pressed their clothes using irons like the ones displayed here. How do you think an iron could work without electricity?

This is a Box Iron. They were called this because they had an opening at the back and a wedge of iron, called a slug, was kept in a chamber inside.  The slug was heated on the fire and placed inside the iron to make it hot. This was much less messy than putting the iron directly on a coal fire!

Find this object. What do you think it was used for?