Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Not Particularly Christmassy Christmas Post!

Hello there. Sorry I haven't posted anything in ages, as usual, life seems to be going at such a fast pace I hardly find time to do anything. I had hoped to do a condensed Christmas Countdown this year, but even that failed to materialise, and now with barely a week left to go until the BIG DAY 
I felt it would be a shame not to get something on my blog, even if it wasn't particularly Christmassy!

Back in September, I went on a short break away to Yorkshire, staying at a castle gate house just outside the city of York. I would love to show you some photos of the inside of Fairfax House, a georgian house set up with period rooms, but photos were not allowed inside, which is understandable, but is also a pity as they are well worth seeing!

I did, however, get some good photos from the York Castle Museum, just a stone's throw away from Fairfax House. The museum has various room settings, a Victorian street scene and household appliances through the ages. The photo above is a typical Victorian parlour of a middle-class family, there is also another shot of the room with its fireplace below.

It's the sort of room Scrooge's nephew might have had in A Christmas Carol. (shoehorning in a little bit of Christmas there!!) Victorians loved to fill there homes with clutter and bold, fussy patterns. 

This is an example of a more working-class family cottage, more likely in the country than in a city. It looks fairly cosy, but would probably have been little more than one room for a whole family to live in.

Here is the other view of this room.

A view of a 17th century room. Lots of dark carved oak and panelling was typical of interiors during the 17th century, though things did change during the latter part of the century, as you might well see in some planned new posts in the New Year!

Here is a view out onto the Victorian street scene below.

A mid-18th century parlour. 

Do you see the dolls' house in this room?

Here's another view which I hope shows the dolls' house a little better.

Oh! must have posted this picture out of sequence! we've gone back a century here! The 17th century room again!

A 1930's living room set up for a birthday party

It's the sort of look I was trying to get in the parlour at the Swan Inn, though this is more typical of a suburban semi. Notice the TV? This family must have been fairly well off. TVs were quite a novelty in the 1930's, with limited amounts of programming available

a 1930's kitchen.

Again, this would have been fairly middle-class, with all the latest labour-saving appliances, the electric iron was plugged into the lightbulb fitting!

Some older ways to cook food! An open fire with a clock work turn spit, and chimney cranes to hold the pans, and griddle.

This fire is much smaller and comes with a bread oven, hot coals would be put inside the bread oven, then when the oven was hot enough, all the coals would be raked out before the bread was cooked. 

This 1980's kitchen is very similar to the one I remember from the house I grew up in. It does seem strange to see this in a museum!! (makes me feel old!!)

Wash day! All that would be needed, though it took all day to do!!

early carpet sweepers and pump vacuum cleaners.

An early fridge. This would have been a very expensive luxury when it was new!

A victorian range cooker.

a Victorian pantry.

A Victorian carpenter's shop from the city street scene, a large part of the job was making coffins!

A shop on the Victorian street scene. 

Seems to be selling all manor of household goods.

The street urchin's view!! ;o)

Dolls' house furniture for sale inside the toy shop. Looks like we managed to avoid the Christmas rush!

some other 21st century time travelers, anyone seen the Tardis?

the Grocer's shop window. York was home to several famous confectionary and chocolate makers, including Rowntree's and Terry's

A candle maker's work shop, I think they were known as chandlers.

The home of a poor family living in the city.

Some of the other city residents or should that be rodents?!!

York Castle Museum is filled with wonderful things and well worth a visit, particularly if you have an interest in social history or are doing some research on particular periods of domestic life. 

So, not perhaps a particularly Christmassy post, as I said, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. I do hope to catch up with my comments soon, but I have been keeping an eye on all your blogs and enjoying them.


  1. What a wonderful tour Andy, Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

  2. thank you for the tour, it was great :)


  3. Never mind Christmas, these are wonderful photos of fantastic exhibits! They look so realistic, amazing - thanks so much for showing us :-)

  4. Dear Andy,
    Thank you for the tour. I love to see things from the Victorian era.
    Merry Christmas Andy and a ;lot of good luck for 2014/
    Hugs Dorien

  5. Thank you very much for taking us on that tour with you - that was interesting, what a great place to visit. And I must say... I totally agree with you - seeing this 80's kitchen made me feel like an old woman at once... *gulp*


  6. Wonderful post. I would like to go there. Great pictures too! That is funny that they had an 80's kitchen. It makes me fell old too!

  7. I'll be honest, Andy, I thought some of these pictures were of mini rooms!!!
    I loved them all, especially the first few, and the green parlour.
    Merry Christmas -x-

  8. What a great museum, perfect for the dolls house lover! It gives you wonderful insight into how people lived. I quite like seeing that eighties kitchen ;-)
    Maybe not the Christmas post you wanted to do, but this was a fun tour! And your background is lovely and Christmassy!
    Merry Christmas Andy!

  9. It is just like a real museum tour, Andy, thank you for sharing! Reading all those comments, I guess there is no one who feel themselves young ;)! I remember the 80's kitchen too and I also remember it was so modern.......until now :D!
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy 2014!!

  10. What a wonderful museum. Lots of inspiration for minis. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love the York Castle Museum...thanks for sharing your photos! I remember buying some Victorian sugar mice in a shop in the Victorian street...much better than the other rodents in your last photo!

  12. Hi Andy,
    What a great tour, I love the 1930s rooms, there is something about the muted tones, I can almost hear the wireless playing. I find that era so fascinating, it a window into the past but not that far back, our grandparents were part of it. Its an era when people still dressed elegantly and there was a standard to be met. No sort skirts and midriffs or piercings for that matter. Listen to me! I sound like and old fuddy duddy.

    Well it's great to see you posting again, I really enjoyed the tour. Merry Christmas, I'll be in touch soon.

    ML Fi xx

  13. Hi Andy! I love your "History" posts!!! There is always so much information and things to look at! I think you managed to squeeze Christmas in in a truly Dickensian way.... all those rooms of Victorian times just set the stage! And so many of the Museum rooms would translate perfectly into Mini Rooms.... if we all had the Time and Space to undertake more rooms... LOL!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

  14. Hi Andy! I luvvvv the pics, each and every one! That horse and carriage on the floor, the rodents, the shop and street views, gorgeous! So much better than a Christmas post, thanks!!


  15. Hi Andy! Thanks for the great pictures, if I get the chance to visit York I'm going to make sure the museum is on my 'to see' list. You were right about the 1980's house in a museum, it really does make me feel old! Seeing the older period rooms makes me extremely happy I live in this era of convenience! Have a great Christmas and New Year! Kind regards, Brian.

  16. Thanks for the ;pics Andy - I love wandering around that museum and see something different every time no matter how often I visit.

    I love the new header and Christmassy background and would wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  17. What a wonderful range of photos for inspiration for the miniaturists. Just about something for everyone whichever period of history you enjoy. There are some neat items of furniture that would be lovely scaled down into miniature. It does seem a bit scary that a 1980s room is in a museum though.

  18. Oops! addition: wishing you a warm, happy and merry Christmas!
    big hugs,

  19. What great inspiration photos, I must add that to my list of places to visit, should I ever make it back to the UK. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and wishing you all the best for the New Year.

  20. Hello Andy,
    dropping by to wish you a very happy New Year!

  21. Very interesting photos! Thank you to share them with us.