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!

     

Key Stage 3

We’re working on it!

New education information here soon.

Living Without Electricity – KS2 & KS3

Available all year 

One of the servants will take you on a journey through the upstairs downstairs world of the Victorian servants and their employers, telling you about each of the rooms and demonstrating how a house could be run without the help of modern inventions. There will be an opportunity for pupils to help in domestic tasks.
Sessions last 2 hours. £3.95 per child. Accompanying adults free

 

Voices From The Past – KS3 and Higher Education

Available all year

A superb audio tour allows you to wander through the Victorian rooms, led by its inhabitants. From Mary, the hard-working maid, to Richard Lister Venables – Chairman of the Magistrates and employer of the famous diarist Francis Kilvert, to name a few – you journey through the life of a Victorian household, sharing their grumbles and joys, hearing their private thoughts and ambitions. Mr Venables (portrayed by Robert Hardy) reminisces about all the changes he has seen in his life – the railways, photography, gas lighting to name a few; Mary gets tired carrying water the 41 steps from pump to bath; the cook shows off where the servants live and work, whilst poor William Morgan complains about the rats in his cell to Constable Rogers. Highly recommended for older children and adults studying the Victorians.

Allow 1.5 hours. Every party taking the audio tour will be accompanied by a member of staff who will help whenever needed, answer any questions and point out interesting details. You may alternatively, have a personal guide to take your group through the building.  £3.95 per pupil.

 

See you in Court!

Whichever type of tour you choose, you will find yourself in the dock! The Courtroom has its own audio experience allowing you to eavesdrop on a real trial from the 1860s as the voices from Judge to felon are projected around the room. The ‘Lanshay Duck Theft’ deals with the disappearance of certain fowl from a farm in neighbouring Knighton, (a case made comical by the production of the duck skins in court for identification), with serious consequences for the accused. This trial runs for 20 minutes and you may listen to as much or as little as you like.

 

Have you got any ideas of your own?

Is there anything you would like to know about or try out in a real Victorian house? We are happy to try and accommodate any ideas, from cooking and cleaning to re-enactments of whole trials! Let us know what you would like, (bearing in mind we do not have a huge staff).

The Judge’s Lodging also holds a collection of Victorian toys with which sessions can be constructed, if requested.

If you would like to link your visit to other topics being covered at school, do let us know – we have, for example a collection of World War I & II artefacts, clothing, tools and trade goods.

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