Servants' hall

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View from family dining room into servant's hall. Arlington House.

The servants' hall is a common room for domestic workers in a great house. The term usually refers to the servants' dining room.[1]

If there is no separate sitting room, the servants' hall doubles as the place servants may spend their leisure hours and serves as both sitting room and dining room.[2]

Background[edit]

Meals in the servants' hall were sometimes very formal affairs, depending on the size and formality of the household. At dinner in a formal house, the butler and housekeeper presided over the table much as the master and lady of the house did 'above stairs' (i.e., in the rooms occupied by the employer). [3]

In Victorian England, the strict rules of precedence were mirrored by the domestic staff in grand or formal homes in the seating arrangements of the Servants' Hall. A senior servant such as the lady's maid took the place of honour but would have to "go lower" (i.e. take a place further down the table) if the employer of a visiting servant outranked the mistress of the house.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Household management and Servants of the Victorian Era". www.avictorian.com.
  2. ^ "Servants' Hall". George Washington's Mount Vernon.
  3. ^ "Manor House. Edwardian Life | PBS". www.pbs.org.