Strange But True

Strange But True

  • Inexpressibles

    The name given to the tight trousers worn by some Regency gentlemen, such as the notorious Beau Brummell and his ‘dandy’ followers,  as they showed off their leg muscles.

  • What did Victoria do first

    after her coronation in 1837?  Have a parliamentary meeting?  Have tea with all the royal dignitaries?  No – she gave her dog, Dash, a bath.

     

  • Now that’s what we call a cake!

    Victoria and Albert’s wedding cake was a colossal 9 feet wide and weighed 300 pounds.

     

  • Victorian ladies’ knickers had no middle

    Once they got all those big dresses on, they couldn’t reach their knickers to pull them down, so they could stand over a potty to wee with these on instead.

     

  • Would you wee in your dining room?

    Victorian gentlemen did! Some dining rooms (like ours) had a special cupboard to house a chamber pot so all the gentlemen could go for a wee without leaving the table (once the ladies had left the room, of course!).

     

  • The last ducking stool to be used in England

    (in 1809) can still be seen not far from us in the Priory Church, Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s huge.

     

Handy Hints

Handy Hints

  • An insect trap

    Scoop out the inside of a turnip, scallop the edges, and place it downward in the earth. The insects will pass into it as a place of retreat through the holes, and the cucumbers, squashes, melons etc., may soon be clear of them.  1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Anti-magnetic properties of the onion

    The magnetic power of a compass needle, will be entirely discharged or changed by being touched with the juice of an onion.

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To clean gilt buckles, chains &c.

    Dip a soft brush in water, rub a little soap on it, and brush the article for a minute or two, then wash it clean, wipe it, and place it near the fire till dry, then brush it with burnt bread finely powdered. 1823

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To remove grease from books

    Lay upon the spoon a little magnesium or powdered chalk, and under it the same; set on it a warm flat iron, and as soon as the grease is melted, it will be all absorbed, and leave the paper clean. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Antidote against mice

    Gather wild mint, put it where you wish to keep them out, and they will not trouble you. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Keeping your kettle clean

    To prevent teakettles coating with lime – put the shell of an oyster in the teakettle and the lime will adhere to it, instead of coating the sides. 1852

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

Education Resources

Victorian Children

Pedlar Doll

English pedlar dolls were faithful replicas of street traders (hawkers) who were a common site in London and other large cities. Their clothes accurately represented that of the working-classes at…

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Victorian Children

Dolls

The two dolls shown here are an excellent way to see the difference between what rich and poor girls would have had to play with. The large doll has a…

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Upstairs Downstairs

The Judges Christmas Dinner

A Dinner for 12 Persons First CourseGame soup – Carrot soupCodfish au gratin – Soles a la creme– – – – – – – – – –EntreesCurried rabbit – Pigeon…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Times when things are in season

Taken from Mrs Beeton’s ‘Book of Household Management’, 1861JANUARYFish – Barbel, brill, carp, cod, crabs, crayfish, dace, eels, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lampreys, lobsters, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps,…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Soup for the Poor

2 oz dripping4 oz meat cut into 1 inch dice4 oz onions, thinly sliced4 oz turnips, cut into small dice (‘the peel will do’)2 oz leeks, thinly sliced (‘the green…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Extras

Lemonade 3 large lemons & sugarRemove the peel very thinly from the lemons (with a potato peeler or a zester). Put them into a 7″ heavy pan and cover with…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Puddings

Orange Cream Heat 1 pint of orange juice and 1/2 pint water with sugar to taste and the juice of one lemon. When boiling, add sufficient gelatine to set two…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Cakes and Fancies

Pound Cake 1 lb of butter, 1 lb of flour, 1 lb of sugar, 8 eggs, 1 wineglass of brandy (not if you are making this for children!), a little…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Sandwiches

Victoria Sandwiches Cut thin brown bread and butter, and between two slices place alternate layers of thinly sliced hard boiled eggs, small salad or American cress, the cleansed fillets of…

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Upstairs Downstairs

Savouries

Potted Salmon When you have any cold salmon left, take the skin off, and bone it, then put it in a marble mortar, with a good deal of clarified butter,…

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Victorian Children

Parlour Games

The Human AlphabetCut out squares of card and attach a cord, long enough to go over a child’s head, to the top corners (it should hang down like a breastplate)….

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Victorian Children

Marble games

Marbles have been used to play games for thousands of years. The first ones were made of clay, stone or real marble. The Victorians loved to play marbles – their…

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Victorian Children

victorian outdoor games

The Potato RaceThe potato race is very amusing and can be played with balls if no potatoes are to hand. Two people compete at a time in this race to…

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Using the Past

people in a Victorian town

Who’s who in Presteigne in 1868? Victorian Presteigne had a population of less than 2000 people, not too different from today. So who were these people and what did they…

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Victorian Children

schools

What was it like being a Victorian child at school? Did they learn the same things as us? What did they dress like? What did they play in their breaks?…

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Victorian Children

Victorian Toys

Toys are a fantastic way to learn more about the Victorians. You can find out what children liked to do, what they looked like and how they used their toys…

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Victorian Children

Victorian games

Many Victorian Games remain with us today – squeak piggy squeak, tag, charades, blind man’s buff, are all, if not played by some children, at least remembered fondly by many…

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Upstairs Downstairs

what shall the judge eat today

Creating a menu for a Victorian Dinner was a complicated issue. Thinking about what they ate brings up many questions about their way of life, their wealth, their location and…

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