Discover the servants' lives in Charlecote's outbuildings
Look into the lives of Charlecote's servants in the immaculately-preserved outbuildings and one of the best surviving Victorian kitchens in Britain.
We're sorry but we're unable to cook in the Victorian kitchen at the moment. The fan over the fire is currently broken. We need to get in a cherry picker to reach the chimney from the roof to assess the problem before we can organise repairs.
Chat to the cooks
Discover the Victorian kitchen, the bustling hub of the house, and as the fire in the range blazes away you can talk to our costumed guides about the recipes they're cooking today from Mrs Horton’s Cookbook. They’ll explain all the ‘latest’ gadgets and Victorian labour-saving devices - you can join in with the cooking too and really feel part of the busy hub of the house.
Children can try on mob caps and aprons and discover more about what it was really like to be a Victorian servant.
What on earth…?
Although ‘new’ kitchen technology was introduced periodically, very little was ever thrown away at Charlecote. There are items in here which will fascinate all generations and maybe jog the memories of older curious visitors.
- The Victorian kitchen and outbuildings are open every day, even when the rest of the house is closed. We do not always have enough volunteers to cook in here every day though.
Discover the tough lives of Charlecote’s servants
The adjoining scullery was used for washing huge quantities of vegetables and crockery. It's easy to imagine the extremes of heat from the range in summer and ice-cold water drawn from the well being sloshed into the sinks in winter.
Cross the courtyard to find the immaculately-preserved laundry, brewhouse and tackroom which were so vital to the efficient running of the house. You’ll gain a real sense of the physical hard work undertaken by the people employed here.
The servants had to fill the washing coppers with hot water and haul out the wet linen to dry – a tough job for the women, whether it was a hot summer’s day or a bitter cold winter afternoon.
In the tackroom you’ll see the huge range of implements that were regarded as essential for maintaining the family’s riding equipment, much of which has hardly changed in the last century.
The comprehensive carriage collection of vehicles used by the Lucy family will fascinate lovers of romantic historical fiction – here you can compare the merits of a phaeton, a barouche or a brougham.