Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Erdigg House: Service

The great house at Erdigg is not that great. When negotiations began, the Trust did not want the house, which was structurally undermined. (It got better). But the Trust did very much want the 30,000 artifacts within. (Now the 2nd largest single collection in the National Trust). Over three centuries, the Yorke family simply never threw anything away. Moreover, the Yorkes were not that wealthy, so that in order to retain a staff, they had to treat them reasonably well. Consequently, much is known about the staff, at least  from Edwardian times, and Erdigg is one of the few sites where one can see nearly all of their living and working quarters. The 18th century gardens have been restored to their original design and are an attraction by themselves. Consequently, Erdigg will get several posts here. The tour begins in the work areas, so we'll start there, proceed upstairs to the areas of the Great and the Good and the, um, Interesting, and then proceed to the gardens.
Erdigg House from the formal gardens

A really, really old Rover, so old the graphic
appears Art Nouveau, reminiscent of Hector
Guimard maybe

It's easy to forget that bicycles were a late 19th century
innovation, the first chain-driven models appearing in 1885;
here's an Edwardian collection, including at least one earlier

Frozen in time...Peter Yorke not only treated his staff well, he
documented them extravagantly, and memorialized them in his

One example

The family

In the kitchen


Some of Peter Yorke's poetry

Hod for carrying firewood up the servants' stairs

You have been warned

This is a pedal-powered vacuum cleaner--worth the price of
admission by itself; you step on the pedals as with a stepper
and thus work the bellows which thus create the suction...
ingenious, those Victorians!


Interesting ceiling decor in the servants dining area


You rang, sir? Episode #403,689

Attic room of one of the senior servants

Back in the engineering sections

Transportation department


In the beautiful carpentry shop

With Peter Yorke's tribute to the joiner

And beautifully exhibited by the Trust

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