Below Stairs at Kelmarsh

The Servant’s Quarters and Old Laundry

Visitors can experience Victorian working life below stairs at Kelmarsh Hall. The Servant’s Quarters and Old Laundry offer visitors the chance to explore the servants service rooms and old laundry, giving a stark contrast to the fine rooms upstairs. 

The Servant’s Quarters offer a sensory experience, with sounds, smells and activities for all the family.
Make sure to say hello to our pepper’s ghost ‘John Jacobs’! 

The Below Stairs are open with the Hall on set days of the week during our open season.
The 2023 open season will start on Easter Weekend in April.

The Butlers Pantry

The Butler’s Pantry has some of the oldest remaining features in the service rooms, with the 18th century cupboards and fixtures. Set around an octagonal worktop, the Butler’s pantry was the center of the male servant’s working day.

Just outside is the servant’s staircase. Another original feature to the hall, the stairs ran from the attic to the basement, in clear view of the Butler to oversee the days work.

Service Rooms

‘Below Stairs’ is home to over a dozen spaces the servants would use for their daily tasks. The butler’s pantry, brushing room and bake room would have been a hub of activity, while the wine and coal cellars were used for storing goods.

The male servant’s bedroom are just beyond the cellars. The bedrooms vary in size and quality and this determined which servants would occupy them.

Life of a Servant

Experience the day to day life of a servant through handling the brushes, irons, linen and trays from their day to day life.

Our interactive approach to the setting includes the latest technologies of augmented reality, to brings the spaces to life with period characters appearing to tell their story. Our downloadable app enables visitors to interpret the rooms in detail, play games and meet past inhabitants of the hall.

The Old Laundry

The laundry was built between 1860 – 1870 during the time Richard Naylor owned the hall, to keep up with the ever-increasing washing for the family and their guests.

Comprising of three rooms: the wet laundry, the drying room and the laundry office, the laundry block is connected to the main hall through the laundry tunnel into the servant’s quarters.

Coalmarsh Exhibition

In the coal cellar below stairs, visitors can find our award winning exhibition ‘Coalmarsh’ delivered by our very own research and archive volunteers. Coalmarsh provides an insight in to the history of coal, and Kelmarsh Hall’s own history with the Coal Industry. 

Along with the exhibition, visitors can see the model railway installed by the Corby District Model Railway Society.

In 2022, we were delighted to win the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum
‘Best Volunteer Project Award’.

A special thank you to our wonderful volunteers, and for the historic items on display from James Lancaster.

Preserving life below stairs

Thanks to a £1.3 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, funding from Daventry District Council, along with other grants and the charity’s own fund raising efforts, the Kelmarsh Trust were able to conserve and restore the servants quarters and laundry for visitors between 2013 – 2017.

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