A curious collection

In every room of the house you’ll find an intriguing, amusing or simply mysterious-looking object, part of a collection which is a conversation starter for social history of the Georgian period. As you make your way through the house, keep your eyes peeled and if you spot something curious, ask one of our guides for its story.

Here are five curious collection items that you shouldn’t miss during your visit:

  • Medicine chest – the keys to this portable dispensary would have been held by the lady of the house, who used its collection of remedies to treat the family’s ailments, thus saving money on calling a doctor. Made in 1830, it still contains 22 of the original 29 bottles.
  • Chamber pot – tucked into a shelf of the bedside cabinet in the bedchamber, this was both a practical and funny wedding gift from the best man to the bride and groom; make sure to read the poem inscribed on it.
  • Plate warmer – Stood beside the fireplace in the dining room, this interesting object baffles many visitors at first sight. It has a door at the front, shelves inside, and no back. Once you know however, its purpose as a plate warmer seems perfectly obvious.
  • Tea caddies – tea was a fashionable drink in the Georgian period, as it was then a recent import from China, and is a recurring feature throughout the house. As you explore, look out for the tea caddies in the parlour. They are particularly ornate: one is decorated with handcrafted paper quilling (a technique where delicate pieces of rolled-up paper form a pattern).
  • Tea table – serving your guests tea was a status symbol, as the tax on tea made it an expensive commodity. The mahogany tea table in the parlour has a drawer with three hinged and tin-lined compartments for storage, and comes equipped with a lock (the keys being kept by the lady of the house) to prevent the servants from helping themselves: they were allowed to use only the spent tea leaves.