Servants' quarters at Uppark

Servants' bells in the basement of Uppark House

Life as a servant was subject to the whims of the resident family and their guests; it was hard graft with incredibly long hours. There was a strict hierarchy among the servants and life could be incredibly tough.

A day in the life
There were many timetables to adhere to. The Housekeeper and maids had to prepare the linen, and serve food to the other servants. The butler and his staff had to clean the silver, trim the lamps and act as ‘night watchman’ for any late night needs of the family.
 
Remarkably, the basement largely escaped Uppark’s devastating fire in 1989
The Lamp Room in the basement at Uppark, West Sussex
Remarkably, the basement largely escaped Uppark’s devastating fire in 1989
 
The elaborate tunnels connecting the servants' quarters with the stables, dairy and East Pavilion were thought to have been created in the 1750s by James Paine. They were the perfect way for the team of men and women caring for the family to go about their business, without disturbing the beautiful views and tranquillity of the house and grounds.  The tunnels were also the most effective way for each group of buildings to communicate with each other. 
Explore the tunnels at Uppark house and Garden, West Sussex
The tunnels at Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex
Explore the tunnels at Uppark house and Garden, West Sussex
 
In C.1815 the kitchen was moved from where it is today to east pavilion, so that the smells of food wouldn’t drift through the house and so there would be less risk of a fire in the main building. Food was then carried on trolleys through the tunnels and kept in the servery before going up to the family.