The Victorian parlour would have been in the best room in the house, and only used on special occasions. Our parlour is laid out as it would have been in the 19th Century with the sumptuous furnishing of a middle class home.
In the parlour you can experience the Victorian taste for decoration and comfort in their homes. The piano, a staple of the Victorian parlour, is believed to have belonged to Beatrix Potter while the phonograph, from around 1912, would have offered a new and exciting way to listen to music as well as looking like a beautiful piece of furniture.
Other features such as the shell table and the case of stuffed birds speak of a growing middle class with an interest in the natural world and exotic places, while the traditional touches such as the rag rugs demonstrate a link with local crafts.
Featured Item - Panelling
The parlour is given a warm feeling by the beautiful panelling within. It was taken from the home of Kendal merchant and philanthropist Thomas Sandes and dates from 1651. Sandes was a Shearman Dyer who rose to become Mayor of Kendal in 1647. He and his wife lived in a house called Grandy Nook on Fellside. This panelling would have been a show of his wealth and would have originally been decorated with bright pictures of birds and flowers, traces of which can still be seen if you look closely.