Life below stairs in Wales

Step back in time and uncover the stories of those who lived and worked below stairs. Many of our historic houses in Wales have servants’ quarters that you can explore during your visit. Here are a few of the best places to find them.

Brass servants' bells below stairs

Erddig, Wrexham 

Explore the servants’ quarters at Erddig and see walls filled with paintings and photographs of the people who worked below stairs. From the kitchen porter and housekeeper to the gardener and gamekeeper, the Yorke family had a close relationship with their servants and celebrated their loyalty, length of service and hard work.

kids activities are run throughout the school holidays at Llanerchaeron

Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion 

Imagine life as a servant at Llanerchaeron as you visit the estate’s service courtyard, hidden at the back of the elegant Georgian villa. Largely unaltered from its original form, the courtyard includes a dairy, laundry room, salting house, brewhouse and many other rooms that helped keep the household running smoothly.

The Brushing Room at Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd 

Head below stairs at Penrhyn Castle and experience what life would have been like for those in service; staff here sometimes worked up to 20 hours a day. From the kitchens, larders and sculleries to special areas for brushing hats, cleaning shoes and lighting lamps, there are plenty of rooms to discover during your visit.

Volunteers dressed up as Victorian servants

Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire 

At Newton House on the Dinefwr Estate, the basement is a must-visit to learn more about the team of live-in servants that worked for the Rhys family. Uncover the stories behind the names, including the butler and housekeeper, and then head out to see the service courtyard.

The great kitchen at Tredegar House

Tredegar House, Newport 

For more than 500 years, Tredegar House was home to one of the greatest Welsh families, the Morgans, later Lords Tredegar. Explore the warren of servants’ rooms below stairs for a glimpse into what it must have been like to serve the gentry family and care for the grand house.