This rather spooky, basement photo was the kitchen of former Caldergrove House. Situated near Priory Bridge, this photo was taken in 1983, just after a huge fire gutted most of the house and just before it was demolished.
This room would have been a hive of activity by domestic servants for generations throughout the 19th and into the 20th Centuries. There would have been most likely a large preparation table in the middle of the room, with trolleys, baskets, pots and pans everywhere. A large pantry cupboard can be seen and the flagstone floor would have been kept spotless.
In 1891, the Marshall family who owned Caldergrove, employed four domestic servants. None of them local, they were from Ireland, Sutherland and Inverness, showing how people travelled to find work. That year the cook was 34 year old Helen Taylor from Caithness. She must have surely spent much of her time in this very kitchen, a continual full time process of food preparation, managing stock and cleaning up.
The other 3 domestic servants were a laundress, housemaid and nursemaid (nanny to the children). It’s safe to say, the Marshall family having their domestic needs taken care fully, likely had time freed up to focus on business and other pursuits.