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Edwardian Life

A selection of images showing what everyday life was like in Edwardian England



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Blue House, Thames & Severn Canal, Siddington, Gloucestershire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Blue House, Thames & Severn Canal, Siddington, Gloucestershire

Labourers working on the canal at Blue House Reach in the process of puddling or making the canal base watertight through the use of a clay mix. The canal was built in 1789 which was too early to be recorded by a photograph. However this image of the canal being restored to be reopened between 1900 and 1904 shows the techniques that would have been used.

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Railway viaduct, Stockport, Manchester
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Railway viaduct, Stockport, Manchester

The viaduct, opened in 1842 by the Birmingham & Manchester Railway Company, is seen across the smokey rooftops of streets of terraced housing. Factory chimneys can be seen in the background. Each house and factory burns coal for heating, cooking and power.

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Charwelton Station,  Charwelton, Northamptonshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Charwelton Station, Charwelton, Northamptonshire

A welcoming party awaiting the arrival of HRH The Duchess of Albany at Charwelton railway station. The Duchess of Albany was the wife of Prince Leopold, the youngest son of Queen Victoria.

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D M Gant's Offices, 1 Conduit Street, London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

D M Gant's Offices, 1 Conduit Street, London

With its cutting from Sporting Life, and motivational and funny posters this office is not too far removed from many of today. The men are Turf Accountants. A Turf Accountant was an early name for a Betting Agent or Office, and Daniel Gant's office catered for only wealthy clients, as 'off-course' cash betting was still illegal unless done on credit. In 1910, there were six telephone lines listed for Gant's offices, enabling privileged clients to place their bets from the comfort of their own homes. Note the extremely thin telephone directory attached to the wall.

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Newcastle Street hoarding, Aldwych, London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Newcastle Street hoarding, Aldwych, London

Newcastle Street hoarding in Aldwych. The posters include Pears' soap, which was advertised on a mass scale in the late 19th century, and Allsop's lager.

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Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, City of London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, City of London

A view of Threadneedle Street crowded with horse omnibuses and other horse-drawn traffic. The Bank of England and the Royal Exchange are both decorated for the coronation of Edward VII. After a delay due to ill health, the King was finally crowned on 9th August 1902.

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Mrs Bennetts Refreshment House,  Lamorna, St Buryan, Cornwall
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Mrs Bennetts Refreshment House, Lamorna, St Buryan, Cornwall

Mrs Bennett selling tea and coffee from her refreshment house at Lamorna. She is seen here with her family.

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Wood's Restaurant, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Wood's Restaurant, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Waitresses serve afternoon tea in Wood's Restaurant.

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Woottons Store, Dinton, Buckinghamshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Woottons Store, Dinton, Buckinghamshire

A group of people dressed in their best clothes outside the shop in Dinton. All of them are wearing hats, the ladies straw boaters. The younger boys are wearing breeches.

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St Giles' Fair, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

St Giles' Fair, Oxford, Oxfordshire

The Collins Helter Skelters standing in St Giles' during the annual fair held at the beginning of September, with a large crowd gathered outside.

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Children playing, Dinton, Buckinghamshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Children playing, Dinton, Buckinghamshire

A group of children playing in a lane near Dinton, the older children looking after the younger ones.

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Harvesting corn, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Harvesting corn, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire

At the start of the 20th century many agricultural processes were still performed by hand. This labourer will have lived through the invention of many technologies, including the motorcar and the telephone, that would help shape the new century.

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J Plater's Cart, Van & Carriage Works, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

J Plater's Cart, Van & Carriage Works, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire

The staff at J Plater's Carriage Works pose for a group photograph. Is the gentleman in the suit J Plater? Several different crafts are visible: carpenter, wheelwright and smith (in the background). Two of the apprentices look particularly young.

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Packing goods at Butler's Wharf, London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Packing goods at Butler's Wharf, London

Large amounts of casual labour were required when trade was good because almost all the work of moving and loading goods was done by hand. Here tea is being weighed and packed into tea chests c1910.

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Thomas Cook and Son, 21 Kensington High Street, Kensington, Greater London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Thomas Cook and Son, 21 Kensington High Street, Kensington, Greater London

A horse and carriage outside Thomas Cook & Son, during the widening of Kensington High Street.

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Excavating the Rotherhithe Tunnel, Rotherhithe, London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Excavating the Rotherhithe Tunnel, Rotherhithe, London

The construction of the Rotherhithe road tunnel under the River Thames between Rotherhithe and Shadwell was begun in 1904 under the direction of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice, and completed in 1908. It was excavated using a Greathead-Moir shield. Air locks allowed the work to proceed under pressure

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Liverpool Street Station, Broadgate, City of London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Liverpool Street Station, Broadgate, City of London

A view of Liverpool Street Station shows that by 1905 commuters were travelling in from the suburbs by train. The scene in this photograph shows a mixture of horse-drawn carriages and commuters. The station was completed in a continental Gothic style as the terminus of the Great Eastern Railway in 1875.

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Hampstead Underground Station, Hampstead, London
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Hampstead Underground Station, Hampstead, London

Hampstead Underground Station is advertised as 'now open' soon after the Northern Line was opened by David Lloyd George in June 1907. Faced in tiles, separate entrances and exits were made to avoid congestion.

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High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire

Workmen using pickaxes and shovels to prepare a road surface outside the Examination Schools, designed by T.G. Jackson, built in 1882.



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