House Tour: The Servant’s Bedroom

IMG_1604It may be their bedroom but the servants weren’t allowed to rest – just outside the door is a bell to summon them at any time of day or night.

IMG_4640At least they could lock their door – if they were given a key…

IMG_1562The servant’s bedroom is located at the back of the house on the first floor right above the old scullery. We are currently using it as a utility/laundry room. It’s quite a small room but it does have a fireplace – the first one I revealed last year. The window overlooks the side of the house rather than the garden – there was to be no gazing upon the family for the servant. Unusually for this house the room has a sash window – only the family’s part of the house has the more fashionable Edwardian casement windows.

IMG_1588Miss Rose having a sniff about. We tend to keep the cats out of this part of the house at the moment.

IMG_1567You may remember from earlier posts that the servant’s room has a small landing outside for access to the servant’s stairs. Below lay the kitchen, scullery, pantry, coal store and the outside servant’s toilet. There was to be no using of the family’s staircase for the servants in Edwardian times and the strict division between the family areas and service areas of the house was maintained at all times. Note that the glazing on the window on the stairs is obscured to prevent the servant seeing the family in the garden below.

While I know a lot about the people who owned this house over the years, I know far less about the servants who lived and worked here. There is only one Census I can consult – that of 1911. From that I know two servants lived in this house at the time. Ethel May Deverell was the housekeeper. She was 25 years old and was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Sarah Elizabeth Hudson, 20, from Burton-on-Trent, was the cook and general domestic servant. Luckily for them, even though this is a big house, it was lived in by only one gentleman, who was renting the house at the time: John William Pendleton, 59, the owner of a boot manufactory. But Mr Pendleton’s is another story.

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2 thoughts on “House Tour: The Servant’s Bedroom

  1. Would Sarah and Ethel have been on an electoral roll? Good to see Miss Rose – sensitive cat noses would not like the intense whiff of laundry products though.

  2. I have managed to find more about the lives of Ethel and Sarah – what I meant though was that apart from this Census there is no other way to find names and dates of any other servants who lived here, whereas with the owners I have all the deeds. The rich leave documents rather than the poor.

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