I've been trying to research early Georgian stables in Britain over the last few months. It's been an unexpected challenge. Whatever topic or era I've tried to research up to now, I've always found books, museums or information online. Not so stables.
One small booklet spanning the medieval to the Victorian era has been my total haul up to now. It hadn't occured to be until now that this would be such an obscure topic, but when I started to think about it, it made sense.
Stables were gradually superseeded by cars as a means of transport. Cars required storage space and so no-longer-needed stables were converted or flattened. The way of life for those that lived and worked in and around the stables was eroded and finally lost. As stable work was the province of the working man, possibly illiterate, and not of any relevance to the wealthy and influential, little of that way of life was recorded or preserved.
The stables are still there, of course. Like stables in nearly all other great houses they have been converted to garages, and then tea rooms, gift shops, conference rooms or wedding venues. Nothing of their original use remains.
|Stables converted to gift shop|
The most useful piece of information I picked up at Dyrham is that there is a NT Carriage Museum at Arlington Court in Devon, so that is the next trip I'm planning. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile if anyone has found information on this topic that I've missed, please do share!