Life below stairs

The wash-room at Castle Ward

You started the day at 5am, lighting the fires, fetching water and filling the large coppers where the linens were boiled. The life of a laundry maid wasn't easy!

The servants tunnel would have been a bustling thoroughfare on site, with daily deliveries from the gardeners of fruit and veg from the Walled Garden, coal being fetched from the tunnel stores, and washing being delivered up and down to the noise and steam of the Laundry.

" On my second day at work Louie suggested I got to the laundry to see my mother…I saw her standing there on a cold day in winter, ironing and sweating over an old type flat iron. An old boiler was steaming boiling clothes. I felt sorry for my mother, seeing her work so hard."
- Peggy, a maid at Castle Ward

Take a house tour and learn all about the daily lives and roles of the servants, from the laundry maids, the boot boys, the butler and the scullery maids - find out who had the hardest job and learn the hierarchy of life in service. If you're not taking the tour you can explore the laundr and dairy at your own leisure, have a go at a few of the activities yourself and read more about the servants who worked there.

Discover the life of the servants on our tour
Dresses hanging in the laundry at Castle Ward
Discover the life of the servants on our tour

At its peak, Castle Ward estate would have employed around 40 staff to keep the house and grounds running. Explore the rooms and follow in the footsteps of the servants who looked after Castle Ward through its 200 year history.

Take the tour

Castle Ward is available to by guided tour only, unless free flow is in place (Sundays / Event days). The tour is free and tickets can be collected in our Reception area. Tours currently run on the hour from 12noon to 4pm during the week and every half hour from 12noon to 4.30pm on weekends. Please be advised the tour takes in some stairs.