Covid-19 Update: Derby Museum and Art Gallery is now open with enhanced safety measures. Pickford’s House and the Silk Mill remain closed until further notice. Please read our access statement prior to your visit for full information.
In the back kitchen or scullery, activities like washing up, washing food or laundering took place. Water for washing up and laundry was heated in kettles over the fire or in the copper situated in the corner of the room with a fire underneath.
What can I see?
The wooden tubs seen in the scullery were placed in the stone sink for washing up. This helped to prevent the china dinner services from being chipped. Large plate drying racks were kept in the scullery as well as other laundry items such as dollies, tubs and linen presses.
What can I learn?
Derby had piped water by 1693, but this did not extend to Friar Gate, so most houses in the area had a well in the back garden. The position of the well can be seen from the laundry window. By 1831 the house had a soft water cistern, so drawing water from wells or communal pumps was no longer necessary.
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