You may well have seen the famous kitchens on television programmes as they have been featured many times and I was told by several people that other programmes and movies have been filmed there as well, including apparently some Rosamund Pilcher films although I am not sure which ones.
Lanhydrock was a very moral house. The female and male servants were kept well separated with different staircases and their rooms were also apart from each other. The staff were well cared for though.
We start our journey around the kitchens with the reminder of who was wanted when the different bells rang. Housemaid once!
The day that we visited was very busy, so I have tried to keep people "out of shot" as much as I could, but it did mean that I couldn't always get far enough back to get a wide angle - which is partly why I have so many pictures.
This is the main preparation cooking area. The ceiling is very high to allow the smells of cooking to dissipate easily.
There are several dressers and many shelves, all adorned with beautiful blue and white china and wonderfully polished copper pans and moulds and so on.
The range is enormous. This picture really doesn't do it justice in terms of the size. It is taller than me and far wider than I could stretch my arms - and I am not short! This is how meat was really roasted in the "olden days" before an open fire on a continually turning spit. The large trays on the floor are to catch the drippings and to allow for the meat to basted with them. The spits are turned all the time and you can see some of the mechanism below. The brass objects that you can see hanging are called Bottle Jacks. They have a clockwork mechanism inside and once wound up, you can hang a joint of meat from them and it will spin by itself in front of the fire - very slowly - to roast the meat. Turning first one way and then the other.
Above you can see a Wedgwood Cane Ware dish that is for a meat pie. The dish represents the pastry so that you didn't have to make a pastry case all the time.
There was so much copper I didn't know where to look first. Even the sink had a copper surround and was brightly polished.
There were iron cooking pots as well, but the copper was the most beautiful of course.
Then we moved onto the scullery area where all of the washing up was done. You need a massive plate rack of course to let all of the plates drain once they had been washed up. Isn't this rack magnificent! Can you imagine having that many plates though!
There was a large bench for preparation of ingredients and a warming oven to keep dishes hot before being taken to table.
Another item that really intrigued me was this slow cooker. You can read about it above. These were revived and were very popular in WW2 and were sometimes called a Hay Box. Because they were filled with hay!
You then go through to the bakery area. Although there wasn't any bread being baked, there was a large display of "fake" bread to give you the idea of the amount that could be produced.
The bread oven is very solid to retain the heat needed to bake the bread.
The large bin that you can see below is for flour. You would have needed quite a lot at once in this house!
There was also a cold larder for storing hams and meat that you can see above and a diary for storing cheeses and so on.
You could also visit several other rooms in the kitchen area, but they were too small to get any good photos. It is all fascinating though! If you like to see life below stairs this is definitely the house for you.
We then moved on to exploring the rest of the house and we will go upstairs to the servants quarters in a moment, but on the way, we are stopping by The Stewards Room. The Steward was the Land Agent who ran the estate. Although this isn't strictly "below stairs" I have included it here as it was not a room used by the family.
There are many bookcases to hold all of the books and records that the Steward would have needed.
There were also plans of the house in case they needed to be referred to.
Now we have skipped upstairs to the servants quarters. You can see that the rooms were quite dark and therefore difficult to photograph. They were far more luxurious than you might imagine them to be, although of course still sparse compared to they way we would furnish a room nowadays.
This room held a lot of excess furniture and other objects.
The luggage room is magnificent, piled high with luggage and cases of all kinds.
The house suffered a terrible fire in the early 1880's and was almost destroyed. It had to be rebuilt and there was obviously a great emphasis on fire prevention after that, so fire buckets and hoses were much in evidence!
There were other rooms to see as well, the linen closet and the room where the footmen hung their livery and so on. It really is all very fascinating and well worth a visit should you get the chance to go!
Another day I will share the gardens with you and the rest of the house. You can find my post about the ceilings here.