Suggested words
View of Preston Manor kitchen.

Victorian Servants
90 mins, KS2
Preston Manor & Gardens 

Find out all about homes in the past in Brighton’s most famous Victorian Manor House.

It’s 1897 and Eleanor McDonald and her daughter Lily are having a dinner party.

Butler Benjamin Beesley is recruiting day servants to help and plans to take 4 people on permanently to work in the House. Please submit your letter of application and come to the Manor to help make the bed, polish the silver, beat the rugs and much more.

Find out what life was really like for Victorian servants in a grand house.

Please do all come dressed as Victorian servants and give yourselves Victorian names.
The children are invited to write letters of application in the voice of their Victorian child character for the position of footman, oddman, housemaid or kitchen maid. Please address to Mr Beesley.

The letters can be handed to us upon arrival.

  • Footman responsible for answering the door, laying the table and cleaning the silver.
  • Kitchenmaid assists Cook to prepare meat and vegetables, cleans the range and scrubs tables.
  • Fourth Maid responsible for cleaning family and servants’ rooms, laying fires and making beds.
  • Oddman chops wood, brings in coal, does odd jobs, and serves the servants’ dinner


Children will grate / grind:

  • Mustard seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Dried cloves
  • Nutmeg

Children will weigh:

  • Wheat free macaroni

Kept in Kilner jars and used by children

  • Sea salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Chilli powder
  • Rice
  • Wheat free flour
  • Bouquet garni

Our Learning Assistant will use in a demonstration

  • Lemon juice
  • Bicarbonate of soda

Aims of the Session

  1. To enjoy your time with us
  2. To bring the past to life
  3. To take part in some of the daily tasks of the servants of the Manor
  4. To find out more about how people lived and worked in the past

Curriculum Links

KS2: Significant historical events, people and places in their own locality, a local history study, a significant turning point in British history

Extra Resources

Materials you can use in class before your visit.

View of Preston Manor kitchen.
Image of a poster at Hove saying "Have fun but please don't run."

School Online Resources

Our learning team have developed downloadable resources that might support your teaching in class or onsite.
Image of a poster at Hove saying "Have fun but please don't run."