Victorian Era House

  maulik patel
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Living in the past: Man spends six years turning cottage into Victorian time capsule

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:41 PM on 22nd September 2010

What the Dickens?... meet the incredible fan of all things Victorian who has spent thousands making his home a real-life homage to the bygone age.

It was an era where chamber pots were commonplace, hedgehogs were insect repellents and ladies were routinely treated for hysteria.

But for Peter Saunders, the Victorian age is with him every day.

Time for a nice cuppa: Peter Saunders enjoys Elevenses... from a Victorian tea service, of course

Bloomin' luvverly: Peter takes Victorian life very seriously, even down to the waistcoat and flat cap

Eschewing leather loungers and factory-produced furniture, Peter has made it his life's mission to turn his home into a late-1800s haven.

Spending 'thousands' turning his £175,000 Nottingham cottage into a time capsule, Peter has made sure every item in the house is 100 per cent authentic.

Everything from the toilet cistern to the tins in his pantry have been lovingly hand-picked from car boot sales, antique fairs and eBay auctions.

Genuine article: Peter has collected authentic Victorian household items from car boot sales and eBay, even down to the portrait of Queen Victoria hanging proudly above the sitting room fireplace

The four-bedroom house is now so close to how it would have looked when a real-life Victorian family last lived there, eccentric Peter is now considering opening its doors to the public.

Council worker Peter, 30, says: 'I've gone to a lot of trouble and I would like to share it with people who will appreciate it.

'The Victorian period is something I've always liked. It was a fascinating time and both my mum and my sister are interested in it too, so I guess my passion for it started from there.

'Sometimes I've bought something for a room or decorated it in a certain way, but then I've just started again because it's not faithful to the working-class roots of the house.

A good old sing-song: The Victorians loved nothing more than to stand around the piano and entertain themselves

Dream come true: Peter has spent 'thousands' creating a genuine Victorian home that he hopes he will be able to open to the public

'I even had some lovely stuffed birds in cages, but I got rid of them because I didn't feel they were true to the kind of house this would have been back then, or the kind of family that would have lived here.

'My mum picks things up for me for the house all the time. Car boot sales and eBay are the best places to get really cheap, quality pieces from the period.'

Peter adds: 'I like the idea of the lifestyle that the Victorians had, apart from some of the conditions like the medical care available. But they were less wasteful and things were built to last.

The real thing: Experts agree that Peter really has got into the character of the place and that the house genuinely reflects Victorian times

Home on the range: Peter uses the original cooking features, but admits to having a microwave oven neatly hidden away

'Most of my friends are very supportive and they love coming round for dinner parties when all the old glasses and cutlery comes out.

'I can't stand all that modern stuff made of plastic that all looks the same.

'I still have all the mod cons like a television and microwave - they are just cleverly hidden around the house. And I have running water, as most Victorians had, but they didn't have hot water on tap like I have.' 

He also admits to having central heating and a fridge freezer but says his modern appliances are concealed in cupboards or behind curtains.

The way we were: The Nottingham cottage pictured in the early 1900s with the Robinson family and household staff who lived there until the end of the century. The house looks very much the same today as it did then

The house has an outside loo, which Peter is restoring. 'But I also have a Victorian-style indoor bathroom with antique fittings, so I suppose I have the best of both worlds - all the modern conveniences but with the romantic and quaint feel of the Victorian period,' he explains.

'And it's still very cosy - the Victorians were all about comfort.' 

Hilary Silvester, chairman of Nottingham Civic Society, said: 'I think he's done it extremely well and has really got into the character of the place.

'It's not twee in any way and has been restored in such a genuine fashion.'

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