Buildings and Landmarks

One Visitor’s Tale of Madame Tussaud’s 1883 Exhibition

Heavy rain showers induced one Londoner who had been reading William Black’s Macleod of Dare to ponder about a better way to spend his time. When he looked out his window and saw wet streets and large splashing raindrops, instead of staying inside or following Black’s advice to enjoy an art pilgrimage to the National…

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Prince Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens

On 14 December 1861, Queen Victoria’s beloved husband and consort, Prince Albert, died of typhoid at Windsor Castle. Albert was diagnosed with the disease by William Jenner, who, at the time was the world’s acknowledged expert on typhoid fever. Jenner noted that Albert’s abdomen displayed the characteristic purplish-pink or rose spots associated with the fever.…

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Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors in the 1800s

The forerunner to Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors was La Caverne des Grands Voleurs (The Cavern of the Great Thieves), founded by Madame Tussaud’s uncle and mentor, Philippe Mathé Curtius. At his Caverne visitors could linger and scrutinize the morbid and bloody details related to a murder, or they could view all the associated gruesomeness…

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Tales of Madame Tussaud’s Exhibition

Madame Tussaud oldest son Joseph was wandering around the Baker Street exhibition one day. He saw an old gentleman standing in front of a display of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time, to reduce the amount of dust in the display, the curtains over Napoleon’s camp bedstead were closed at night. The old gentleman appeared to…

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Kensington Gardens in the 1700 and 1800s

Kensington Gardens sits west of Hyde Park, which it once adjoined. Kensington Gardens were created when they were cut off from Hyde Park by George II’s wife, Queen Caroline, in 1728. Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman were tasked with the job of creating the gardens. Bridgeman created the recreational lake known as the Serpentine between…

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Mrs. Salmon’s Waxworks

Before the famous Madame Tussaud’s there was Mrs. Salmon’s Waxworks that was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Salmon. Mrs. Salmon made and sold toys — Dutch, English, and French — and was said to be highly eccentric, even sleeping in a burial shroud. Mrs. Salmon’s also had modelling skills and used them to…

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What are Stables and Other Similar Associated Buildings?

By the 1800s, in the city, most houses were devoid of stables, whereas most country homes were equipped with one. Stables offered lodging for horses, protected them from the elements, and provided them with a ready food and water supply. Stables could also be detached or attached to a house depending on an owner’s preference,…

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What are Servant Bedrooms?

Besides the upper and under servant offices used by domestic staff to accomplish their jobs, there were special sleeping quarters allotted to servants. Such sleeping quarters consisted of Under-servant and Upper-servant Bedrooms and Stranger-servant Bedrooms. Under-servant Bedrooms: Male and female domestics had separate quarters for sleeping. Female domestics were usually provided with bedrooms either in…

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What are Wash-houses and Laundry-Related Rooms?

Because eighteenth and nineteenth century houses generated lots of laundry, laundry facilities were an important part of any home. Sometimes laundry facilities were completely separate from a house and located near the Stables, but it was a chore to move the entire laundry of household to an area far from the house. One reason laundry…

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What are Cellars, Storage, and Outbuildings?

Cellars were used for storage, and outbuildings were small buildings separated from the main house that also provided some sort of storage. There were a variety of cellars and outbuildings. These included such things as beer-cellars, bins, coal-cellars and wood-houses, fruit-stores, ice-houses, lumber-rooms, miscellaneous cellars, and wine-cellars. Beer-cellar: Superior residences often had a Beer-cellar. Beer-cellars…

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