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A peep into a Georgian House

This cross-section of a Georgian town house gives us an idea of how much accommodation was available.

This only shows one room deep, but we can assume the house would be two rooms deep. Indeed, you can see a little corridor alongside the stairs on two of the floors. we have to imagine some of the visible accommodation will be repeated in the rooms behind.

Starting in the basement, we've got the housekeeper's Room on the right. Note the cupboard behind. The kitchen centre - which likely continues into the deep back. The servants' hall (effectively the staff dining room) is likely in one of the rooms behind.

On the left we have a door leading to the cellars, where we can expect a wine cellar as well as a coal cellar.

Ground floor centre is the entrance hall, with a small antechamber to the right and a parlour to the left. This would be the cosy family parlour, or breakfast room.

Behind these rooms, there would likely be a study or library, and another parlour. You can't see any of the fireplaces because, as you can see from the chimneys, the flues are situated to the sides of the building which takes them out of the image.

The floor in the middle shows us a more formal parlour to the right and the dining-room to the left. You can see the hall and stairway centre and we can assume these two rooms are repeated behind, led into from the hall next door to the stairwell.

Just think of the poor servants having to toil up all those stairs from the kitchen with trays for the meal. Though it is likely there will be a dumb waiter lift for this purpose. Let's hope there is and that it can be used for the morning hot water jugs. Or else the chambermaid is going to have to drag them up even more stairs to get to the next floor where we see two bedrooms. The one on the right looks as if it has a recess behind, which may be a dressing-room. Behind the one on the left, where you can see a four-poster and a dressing commode, there is likely another bedchamber.

Up again, and this will be the nursery floor where the children sleep, work, eat and play. Young children were in general out of sight of their genteel parents, looked after by nursemaids, taught by a governess for the girls, and the boys tutored until they were old enough to be sent away to school. Apart from a daily excursion to the nearest park for air and exercise, they won't come down except for the obligatory hour or so with their parents when those worthies are not otherwise engaged.

Finally, right at the top of the house, we have the attics where the servants sleep, bunked up together in most cases, except for the butler and the housekeeper who will have their own rooms. Butlers, incidentally, often had a room in the downstairs accommodations somewhere in the area known as the domestic offices. This served them as both office and bedroom, and was close to the wine cellar of which they had sole charge.

One of the attic rooms would be given over for use as a box room for valises, bandboxes and trunks, the latter likely containing valuable clothes that were no longer in use. Less valuable clothing would be handed down to the upper servants via the lady's maid.

This is not quite the same arrangement as in The Gilded Shroud, the first Lady Fan Mystery, because the house where most of the action takes place is on a larger scale than this. But there is the same four room sequence on each floor, except in the basement and attics, plus a small antechamber over the main entrance which is my lady's dressing room.

Find out about The Gilded Shroud HERE.

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