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Author Topic: Secrets of the Manor House  (Read 2032 times)
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rogue

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« on: April 14, 2012, 04:47:05 PM »


Exactly 100 years ago, the world of the British manor house was at its height. It was a life of luxury and indolence for a wealthy few supported by the labor of hundreds of servants toiling ceaselessly "below stairs" to make the lives of their lords and ladies run as smoothly as possible. It is a world that has provided a majestic backdrop to a range of movies and popular costume dramas to this day, including PBS' Downton Abbey.

But what was really going on behind these stately walls? Secrets of the Manor House looks beyond the fiction to the truth of what life was like in these ancient British houses. They were communities where two separate worlds existed side by side: the poor worked as domestic servants, while the nationís wealthiest families enjoyed a lifestyle of luxury, and aristocrats ruled over their servants as they had done for a thousand years.


Lord Egremont, Petworth House
Maids ironing and doing the laundry at Petworth House.The program talks to present-day British lords and ladies and to the descendants of those who lived and worked in manor houses across the country. A series of expert historians explain the true picture of how life was lived within the walls of these stately homes that had changed very little for centuries. It explains the hierarchy of the British establishment: led by the king with a supporting cast of dukes, earls and barons, each keenly aware of his or her place. It visits modern manor houses, where aristocratic families sometimes still rule over scores of servants, in homes with 100 and more bedrooms, and where the lord still enjoys a luxurious life of hunting, shooting and fishing among the beauty of rural Britain. And it details the true hardship of life as a "downstairs" servant: maids would carry 45 gallons of hot water along hidden servantsí passageways to fill one aristocratic ladyís bath, and a housemaidís day would start before dawn and last for 17 hours as she scrubbed floors, cleaned grates and carried coal ó all for a wage of $15 a year.

But, precisely a century ago, a perfect storm of financial hardship and political and social change was threatening to engulf this traditional British way of life. Some impoverished British aristocrats married wealthy American heiresses to prop up and sustain their fading manor houses; the working classes were finding a voice and demanding both political power and better jobs; and the terrible disaster of World War I was looming in the wings. When war came, nothing in the life of the British manor house was ever the same again.

Full link : http://www.pbs.org/programs/secrets-manor-house/

If it doesn't work , use the links below

Part1. http://www.youtube.com/wa...5Sgc&feature=youtu.be
Part2.http://www.youtube.com/wa...a7Tw&feature=youtu.be
Part3.http://www.youtube.com/wa...yjus&feature=youtu.be
Part4.http://www.youtube.com/wa...4Zjk&feature=youtu.be
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just a serf

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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 06:34:44 PM »

This looks interesting thanks for sharing rogue. Although a lot of that history is incorrect; factors which contributed to the fall of the aristocracy had been building up for hundreds of years, and the class divisions do not mean classes live in separate worlds - quite the opposite!
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2012, 09:55:03 PM »

 I remember there was British reality show that took place in a manor house. It had the manor "family" which was an actual family who were allowed to play the roles of lord, lady and children plus an unmarried sister of the lord. The rest of the cast were the butler, housekeeper, etc...The butler was an elderly gentleman who had a grandfather that had worked in an Edwardian manor. The lower servants had a tremendous workload! One of the "staff" had a background in fashion so she was fortunate to land the role of lady's maid. It was interesting to watch the relationships develop among the servants and their family.
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 12:08:01 AM »

TLLK, I remember that series.  And even though the stand in family was put into a posh setting, they had difficulty.  Like not enough hot water to bathe, let alone no showers.  I think there were issues about keeping the rooms heated, and plumbing.     Thumb up  Champagne

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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 12:44:42 AM »

TLLK, I remember that series.  And even though the stand in family was put into a posh setting, they had difficulty.  Like not enough hot water to bathe, let alone no showers.  I think there were issues about keeping the rooms heated, and plumbing.     Thumb up  Champagne


I find it fascinating that a house could have been found that still had the original kitchen and lighting etc...Just imagine trying to teach the staff how to use the stove, lights, how to light a fire etc..I remember that the boot boy didn't even have a room to sleep in but used a cot in the hallway. I also remember when two of the footmen got very drunk and were being scolded by the butler. 
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 02:05:11 AM »

1920 Debutantes arrive at Buckingham Palace   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPPY8XBBKc8
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Duchess of Verona

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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2019, 01:45:33 AM »

I spent my whole snow day today down the youtube rabbit hole. Far better than actually shoveling the 14" of snow from last night. Smiley
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