The Bedroom

This was the main bedroom of the house. It was here on 7 February 1812 that Elizabeth Dickens gave birth to her first son, christened Charles John Huffham Dickens a few days later in St Mary’s Church. As a reminder of Charles Dickens’ birth, a portrait and parian porcelain bust of him are displayed in this room.

The furniture is of a type and date that would have been used by John and Elizabeth Dickens to set up their first married home. The four-poster bed is a typical early 19th century one, designed in elegant Georgian style. The tallboy (a double chest of drawers) is a mid-18th century type. This is of a kind that Elizabeth’s parents may well have passed on to the young married couple. The chest of drawers and dressing mirror are early 19th century, of the kind that the Dickens may have bought in Portsmouth for their first home.

The fireplace would have kept the room cosy and a clothes horse stands in front of it to warm nightshirts, baby clothes and towels. With no running water in the house, washing would be done at the washstand in the corner, with servants fetching the hot water and removing the waste water and slops.

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