Standen and the history of electricity in the Victorian home

A Victorian lightbulb in Standen House

Standen was one of the first houses in the country to be built with electricity in the plans from the beginning. But in the late nineteenth century, electricity was a strange and mysterious force which few understood but many believed could be dangerous. It was not obvious that everyone would want it in their house. Why, then, did the Beales decide on electricity when designing their new home? And how did this fit into the national story of domestic electrification unfolding at this time around the country?

On 14 April, Dr Michael Kay from the University of Leeds will be addressing these questions, as well as sketching out the hopes and fears surrounding electrification in the Victorian period, and highlighting the importance of Standen within this broader historical narrative.
Kay is the project researcher on ‘Electrifying the Country House’, a University of Leeds project producing educational visitor resources for Standen as well as two other country houses (Cragside, near Rothbury and Lotherton Hall, Leeds). This talk will showcase some of the materials which will be used to bring to life this fascinating topic. For more information please visit 
The evening will begin at 6.15pm, where coffee will be served in the Barn Café, and the talk will cost £5 per person. 
To give you a flavour of some of the themes in this talk, please visit the links below.