From the Notebook: Inside the Victorian Home

I have so many notes dedicated to life in the Victorian home that I could probably dedicate an entire month’s worth of posts to the topic. I won’t, but here are some tidbits here and there that I found interesting.

Currency controlled by the Royal Mint after 1884, thus…

  • One pound (denoted £) = 20 shillings
  • One shilling (denoted s) = 12 pence
  • One pence (denoted d) = 1 penny

Prosperous Middle Class: generally earned around £ 50 per year (annum), which allowed for 5 bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms (upper middle class often had 12+ rooms in a house)

  • top floor: servants, childrens bedrooms (2-3)
  • half-landing: bathroom
    • 1880s bath and sink were iron, tin, stoneware, earthenware
    • bathroom walls covered in varnished wallpaper
    • floor covered in enamel paint
    • tub had lead plate with turned up edges and waste pipe for extra water
  • 2nd floor: master bedroom, dressing room, second bedroom
  • 1st floor: drawing room
  • ground floor: dining room, morning room
  • basement: kitchen, scullery*, breakfast room

* Scullery aka back kitchen; had running water and used for food preparation that was messy (fish, veggies, cleaning pots)
* Pantry has wooden sink lined with lead to prevent chipping; stored china, glass, silver, sink to wash aforementioned items
* Larder was used for fresh food storage
* Store-room held dried goods and the cleaning equipment

Linoleum was popular in kitchens, passageways, and sculleries because they were easy to clean.
– patented in 1860

From Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders. © 2003