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
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
But for Peter Saunders, the Victorian age is with him every
Time for a nice cuppa: Peter
Saunders enjoys Elevenses... from a Victorian tea service, of
Bloomin' luvverly: Peter takes
Victorian life very seriously, even down to the waistcoat and flat
Eschewing leather loungers and factory-produced furniture, Peter
has made it his life's mission to turn his home into a late-1800s
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
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
'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
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
'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
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
'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
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
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