Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

Mystery objects

What does it do?

Looking at objects is a great way to think about how people lived in the past. You can think not only about how objects were used, but who used them and made them, how they were made and used and how they might be like things you have in your own home.

There are a variety of activities you can do with the objects we have to show you here. You may wish to start by guessing what the object was used for in a Victorian house. Each picture has another image as a clue to help you and if you really get stuck you can click to find out the answer. Some of the objects you might find easy to work out, but others may be a bit tougher - and sometimes the clues could be even harder to work out!

You may wish to look at each picture and think through some questions about it, such as those suggested below.

Perhaps you could draw the objects for yourself and write down your thoughts on them. You could also print out both the pictures and their picture clues and attempt to put them into pairs.

Questions you might like to think about:

What is it made of?

Is it composed of more than one substance?

What sort of person made it?   And how did they do it? (hand-made, in a mould, by a machine?)

Is it decorated? How? Why?

Do you think it would cost a lot for a Victorian to buy?

Does anything on it move?

Do you think it would be easy or hard to use?

What would you use in your house to do the same job?

Who would use it in Victorian times?


And of course... what is it?



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Strange But True

  • list arrowHow did Victorians try out a new invention?

    Test it on the servants of course! That's what happened in 1860 at The Judge's Lodging, when gas lighting was put into the basement and not the Judge's rooms. They wanted to see if they got sick from the fumes. The servants were fine - that's why we got the lights working again.

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