The Kitchen

You have entered Charles Dickens Birthplace through the kitchen.

Originally, the kitchen, scullery and pantry were all on this level. Looking after a young family in 1812 needed a lot of hard work, without the modern conveniences which we take for granted. The Dickens family probably employed one of two servants to help with the chores, as it was possible then to hire young orphans for only a few shillings week.

The kitchen is now used as our museum shop, but it has two items of particular interest. The small kitchen fire and stove was used for all the cooking in the house and also for heating the water. There was no running water, so every time someone wanted to wash, water had to be heated in the kitchen and carried upstairs.

On the opposite wall is the white dresser. This is the only original piece of furniture in the house that has survived. It is part of the structure of the wall – a 19th century built-in kitchen! All the other furniture in the house dates from the period when the Dickens family lived here, but was not actually owned by them.

You may be interested in: