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Georgian and Victorian eras the class system and doors
Continuing our little series on doors.
In the Georgian and Victorian eras the class system was at its evil height. Lower, middle and upper clearly defined. You knew where you belonged. There was no getting away from it.
Nowhere was this more clearly noticeable than in the big houses of the day – the upstairs downstairs syndrome. It wasn’t just the big houses though, even less grand town houses and later Victorian detached red bricks in the suburbs. Witness the tradesmen’s entrance. Wouldn’t want the meat delivered to the front door – would we? Round the side with you. Another feature was the back stairs, built so staff wouldn’t use the main hallways as they went about their tasks and bump into the master.
In the same way, doors were graded according to the status of the room and its user. The ground floor warranted the best doors. Good thick 4 or 6 panel with nice mouldings and often of polished hardwood to impress one’s visitors. Onto the first floor, where visitors rarely went, the doors would still be well made, probably painted and of good quality but definitely not as fine as downstairs and then up to the servants’ quarters on the top floor where the quality definitely dropped. After all why spend money up there. Thin 4 panels with no mouldings, often of smaller size but strangely, still well made with full mortise and tenon joints and quite useable today. Gems compared to the current offerings of moulded plastic and mdf.