This light airy room would have been used as a family room – an informal place for eating and leisure activities such as playing musical instruments, reading and writing letters. However, in Pickford’s day this may have been used as an architect’s office. His son, The Rev. Joseph Pickford, made this room into a parlour around 1812 when he divided the house into his own living quarters and rentable accommodation.
What can I see?
The Morning Room, or parlour, is displayed as it might have looked between 1825-30. Life had become less formal by this time, which is reflected in the casual grouping of furniture around the table. Over the mantelpiece hangs a copy of a painting from 1777-9 by Pickford’s friend, Joseph Wright of Derby. It shows Pickford’s sons Thomas and Joseph with their dog.
What can I do?
Look at the iron railings at the top of the stairs leading down to the lower ground floor. There you will see the remains of a dog gate which would have been used to stop the family pet making its way into the kitchen area.
What can I learn?
A Morning Room (sometimes called a parlour) was used by the family during the daylight hours and was a mark of social status. It was used to display prized possessions such as artworks or furnishings. Later, as parlours tended to give a certain amount of privacy, business began in these rooms. One such well-known business was the funeral parlour.