A parlour in 1745 - photography Chris Ridley
The architectural shape of the parlour and its position within the house had changed little since the late seventeenth century, although its furnishings were quite different. It was still the main room in which the family gathered, received guests and took some of their meals, even when there was a separate dining room in the house.
People were expected to behave in a certain way in the parlour. This behaviour followed a social code known at the time as ‘politeness’. It required people to make themselves agreeable to others and covered everything from the way to take tea and how to stand correctly, to taste and how to make conversation.
The museum’s period room is based on houses in Meard Street, Covent Garden, built in 1732 and occupied in the 1740s and 1750s by people such as skilled artisans, artists and people in trade and business.
Explore our 360 view of the Parlour, 1745 or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.