The Servants’ Quarters
The completeness of the
domestic offices at Tatton gives a striking picture of the world of
the servants below stairs and the scale of household management
which was required to run such a large establishment with
efficiency and precision.
At the end of the 19th century the Egerton household had
around 40 indoor servants under the control of the housekeeper and
The Scullery and Kitchen
Like all country houses, Tatton was self-sufficient, having its
own home farm and extensive walled kitchen gardens of six and a
half acres. The scullery and kitchen were relocated to their
current position at the western end of the main house at the end of
the 18th century setting them closer to the Walled Kitchen Garden
and Home Farm.
rooms face north and are well lit by large windows, without
being exposed to excessive sunlight. The lofty airiness of these
rooms, together with the easily washable tiled brick walls and
stone floors, make them ideal work-places for the job of preparing
meals for the family and household.
The position of the kitchen was important in relation to the
other parts of the building, being close to the courtyard entrance
for the delivery of supplies from other parts of the estate. The
distance from the Dining Room was equally important, as the kitchen
had to be near enough for efficient service, but far enough away to
ensure cooking smells did not penetrate into the family rooms.
Salting Room and Wine Cellar
At the far end of the passage are the rooms under the control of
the housekeeper and cook, accessible from a second set of
Conveniently situated near the outer door to the kitchen
courtyard is the salting room. Preserving food in the days before
refrigeration was an essential part of household management. Tatton
was well placed in the heart of the Cheshire salt mining industry
for obtaining large quantities of salt required for preserving the
carcasses of bacon and ham joints produced from pigs reared at Home
Farm. After being pickled in saltpetre, sugar, salt and
water, the joints were wrapped in muslin and hung on the overhead
hooks to provide the household with meat throughout the winter.
At the hub of all country estates were the cellars, where
supplies of food, wine and fuel were stored and later, water was
heated in the boiler-houses. The butler had control of the wine and
beer cellars along with the coal store, all of which were situated
within easy reach of the butler’s pantry upstairs.
In the wine cellar, the butler kept account of the stock of
wines and labelled each of the bins for easy reference. The outer
part of this cellar was used as a receiving cellar for unpacking
and washing bottles, and for recording stocks as they
arrived. Three enormous Cellar Books survive covering the
period 1844 to 1909 during three generations of Egerton ownership.
Over the 66 years recorded, 51,000 bottles were listed here for
consumption by the Egerton household either at Tatton or at their