Discover the hidden depths of Berrington as we take you 'below stairs'

If you join one of our volunteer led tours you can uncover the servants quarters here at Berrington. Berrington's hidden history will be unveiled, as you discover the life of the Georgian servants who lived below Berrington Hall's glamourous facade.

Berrington Hall, like the majority of wealthy houses in the Georgian period, was filled with servants. With the average wage of a housemaid being £5 until the nineteenth century, it is often these people who are forgotten and their stories hidden beneath the grandeur of the household above.

The relationship between a servant and their master was one of hierarchy. This is referenced in historian Dennis Romano’s statement about the servant and master bond, ‘No relationship, with the exception of that between husbands and wives, better expresses the patriarchal and hierarchical ideal of early modern society’.

Any of these charming outfits taking your fancy?
A wardobe filled with baskets and clothes for servants
Any of these charming outfits taking your fancy?

A part of Berrington that echoes Romano’s quote is the stairway leading down into the Servants Quarters. It has been referred to as ‘the unadorned iron staircase leading downwards'. It is this entrance that visitors use to enter into the Servant's Quarters, after exploring the mansion. Once inside the servant spaces, it’s easy to see how the history behind their lifestyle can be neglected.

Thanks to funds generated by the support of our visitors, in 2016 a project took place to  research and uncover the servant stories and open up rooms for visitors to explore. This was only possible due to the generosity of all of our supporters, for every penny raised through admission, membership, donations and in the tea-room and shop is used to look after Berrington.

" the unadorned iron staircase leading downwards "
- Anne Farr, Mansion Guide

After a lot of conservation and thanks to the support of all of our visitors, we were able to take you back in time and open the below stairs on one of our tours.

You can have sneak preview of what it's like below stairs in the video created by SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People project) below.

This video was created by SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People project). SHYPP is an award winning project that works to inspire young people to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. They aim to help young people get through tough periods and make a positive transition into an independent thriving lifestyle.

Their partnership with Berrington Hall began as a way of engaging different groups from the community with our walled garden. We are doing this as part of ‘The Walled Garden and Pleasure Grounds Restoration Project’. One aim of the project is to work with local groups, from all backgrounds, to see how they can use the walled garden in a positive way. Using Berrington as a location, the young people that SHYPP work with have been able to create their films and work on different creative projects.

This year the partnership will develop further between Berrington and SHYPP so that we can help towards supporting SHYPP’s young adults to develop creative responses to the walled garden and mansion.

Having had a brief look at what you can discover, why not join one of our tour guides to see what you think of the life of the Georgian servant?